First Aid for a knocked out tooth
First aid for a knocked out tooth is relatively simple and straight forward. The good news is that a majority of the time a knocked out tooth can be saved if it is not damaged. It is important to follow the first aid tips and not damage the tooth. Remain calm and act quickly.
Do not try to reinsert a primary (“baby”) tooth.
If a secondary (“adult”) tooth is knocked out, do the following immediately:
1. Clean the tooth without damaging it. Only hold the tooth by the crown (the crown is the smooth white part of the tooth normally visible in the mouth). You do not want to damage the roots. Do not scrape or rub dirt off the tooth. Do not rinse under running water. If the patient is calm and conscious, ask them to gently suck the tooth clean. Alternatively, rinse the entire tooth in milk or very briefly, in water.
2. Place the tooth back in the mouth. Immediately place the tooth back in its socket, ensuring that it is facing the right way around. It is very important that the tooth be replaced within 5-10 minutes of being knocked out. Get the patient to gently bite down on some gauze or a soft cloth (such as a handkerchief or face washer), to keep the tooth in place. If this is not possible, aluminium foil placed over the affected tooth and teeth on either side, will assist in stabilising the tooth.
3. Seek emergency dental treatment immediately – time is critical in preventing permanent damage. Telephone for an appointment on 65715533 or contact us.
If you are not able to replant the tooth back in the socket, keep it moist by:
- Putting it in a cup of milk, or
- Sealing it in plastic wrap, or
- Place it in the conscious patient’s mouth, next to their cheek.
Important points to remember:
- Do not handle the root of the tooth.
- Do not scrape or rub the surface of the tooth.
- Do not let the tooth dry out.
- Do not have the tooth in contact with water for any more than 1 or 2 seconds.
- Do not put the tooth in ice or hot water.
- Do not remove any soft tissue fragments from the tooth.