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If you’ve knocked out your tooth, it is important to act quickly. In fact, if you get to your dentist’s office right away, you can actually re-implant your natural tooth into its original place. That said, it is important you recover and transport your tooth correctly, or you could risk damaging it in the process. To do so, be sure to take the following steps.

First, you need to find it.

If you haven’t swallowed the tooth, then I have good news for you: there is a possibility you can restore your tooth back into place. This means you’ll need to safely recover the tooth. When you find it, do not pick it up by the fleshy root. Grab it by the white, outer shell—also known as the crown—and handle it carefully. You don’t want to be too rough with the tooth or it could cause irreparable damage.

Rinse it off.

After grabbing the tooth, your next step is to carefully clean it. This means just gently rinsing it using whole milk, saliva, or a sterile saline solution of your own making. To make the sterile saline solution, simply combine a cup of room temperature water with ¼ teaspoon of salt and stir. Important note: do not use water alone to rinse your tooth if it can be avoided. This will not preserve your tooth as well as the other substances listed above. As you rinse off your tooth, do not scrub or wipe the tooth or you could accidentally wipe away vital tissue from it.

If you can, reinsert the tooth into your gums.

While this may seem unpleasant, placing your tooth back into its original socket can actually help to keep the tooth safe while you head to the dentist’s office. Simply place the tooth back into the gums and bite down on a clean, soft fabric or medical gauze. This could possibly help your dentist to restore your tooth. However, if it does not fit into the socket, don’t force the tooth. Instead, follow the steps in the next section.

If that doesn’t work, take the necessary steps to protect your tooth.

Reinserting your tooth is not always possible. In these instances, you can transport the tooth to your dentist by carrying it in a bag of saline solution, saliva, or milk. Again, you won’t want to use water to transport the tooth, as this can make it more difficult to salvage your natural tooth. If you are not close to home and have none of these materials available to you, simply place the tooth between your cheek and your teeth until you get to the office. Ultimately, by treating your tooth carefully and transporting it correctly, you have a higher chance of restoring your natural tooth into place.

Call our offices as soon as possible!

In dental emergencies, the sooner you get treatment the better. Call our offices as soon as possible to help determine your next steps and alert us to your arrival. If the offices are closed, you should make sure you head to the nearest emergency room.

If you’re having a dental emergency, we can help! Call Downtown Dental in Chicago today.