Among all our body parts, I can confidently say that our teeth are very important assets. Having a perfect set of healthy teeth gives us confidence in all social events. Along with our eyes, it’s also the first thing people see when we give out a big smile. That being said, we should really take care of our pearly whites. But we know how to do that already, don’t we? What do we do, if, for example, we accidentally knock one off? Or two of them? What should we do if we chip them? It’s essential to know some of these first aid measures and I will discuss them here:
It’s An Emergency
A lot of people don’t know this by knocked-out permanent tooth is actually a dental emergency. Knocked-out teeth can be re-implanted in many cases though, with proper first aid measures, that is. A permanent tooth that is re-implanted within 15 to 30 minutes has the highest chance of success too. However, if your child prematurely loses a baby tooth, there’s no need to try to replace it.
How Are Teeth Knocked Off?
Playing sports without a mouthguard, biting down on something hard, and grinding your teeth are just some of the common ways you can chip, crack, or knock off a tooth. In general though, contact sports and high risk activities like biking, skateboarding, and inline skating are the main reasons. In some cases, children at home also experience knocking of their teeth because of poorly childproofed homes.
Collect The Fragments
You should handle the fallen teeth carefully because damage may prevent re-implantation. Touch only the crown which is the top part of the tooth and avoid touching the root of the tooth. Then, rinse the tooth gently in a bowl of lukewarm water, especially if there is dirt or foreign matter on it. Do not scrub, scrape, or use alcohol to remove dirt.
Attempt to reinsert the tooth with caution as bleeding may occur. First, rinse your mouth with warm water. Then, if possible, reinsert the tooth into the correct sockets and have the person bite on a gauze pad to hold teeth in place. If you cannot perform this, store the teeth in whole milk or between your cheek and gum to prevent drying.
Ask the patient if he or she is okay. Is there pain? Excessive bleeding? Swelling? Control bleeding by letting the patient swish a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide in his or her mouth and then spit. You can also apply a sterile gauze thereafter. For pain and swelling, you can take over the counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
See A Dentist
Again, a permanent tooth should be re-implanted within 15 to 30 minutes for it to be successful. For both knocked off and chipped teeth, call a dentist first. For knocked off teeth, you can choose to go to an emergency room immediately and bring the teeth or teeth fragments with you. Even if the teeth have been successfully reinserted, you should see a dentist.