A childhood visit from the tooth fairy is one thing, but having a permanent tooth knocked out is another, distinctly less enjoyable affair. Act fast and it could be a temporary one.
You will need
- Sterile gauze pads
- Moistened tea bag
- Whole milk
Step 1 Find tooth Find your tooth—or piece of tooth—as quickly as possible.
Step 2 Pick up by tip Pick it up by the tip only—not the roots.
Step 3 Apply gauze Apply sterile gauze to the socket where the tooth was knocked out to staunch the bleeding.
Step 4 Gently rinse tooth Gently rinse the tooth in a cup of water.
Move fast—a dentist has the best chance of reimplanting a tooth within 30 minutes—but very gently. Don’t try to wipe the tooth clean or hold it under running water.
Step 5 Place tooth in socket Place the tooth back into its socket.
Do this for adults only—children may swallow the tooth.
Step 6 Place gauze pad Place a gauze pad or a moistened tea bag over the tooth, between the bottom and upper teeth, and very gently close your mouth to hold it in place.
If you are unable to place the tooth back in the socket, submerge it in a cup of whole milk or your own saliva—not water—until you can get to the dentist. Transporting the tooth dry can cause permanent nerve damage to the tooth within a few minutes.
Step 7 Seek emergency care Seek emergency care immediately. If you cannot get to a dentist right away, go to a hospital emergency room—and don’t forget the tooth!
Did You Know:
No one’s sure exactly how the tooth fairy myth started, but its modern version—a fairy that replaces a shed baby tooth under a pillow with money or candy—didn’t show up until the early 1900s.