After falling down and striking your face against an object, you may have discovered that you knocked out one of your teeth. Fortunately, under the right conditions, a dentist may be able to reinsert and save the tooth. However, if you make the following mistakes while handling the tooth, you may wind up damaging the roots and make saving the tooth impossible.
1. Handling the Tooth by the Roots
When you find your tooth laying on the ground, you may be tempted to quickly snatch it up and place it in your hand. Since you do not want it to be damaged further by being stepped on, you may think that you are protecting the tooth.
However, if you pick up the tooth the wrong way by touching the bottom roots, you will not be protecting the tooth at all. In fact, since the roots are so delicate, even the slightest amount of pressure will break off a small piece. If this happens, at least part of the tooth will die no matter what steps you take afterward.
To keep this from happening, use your thumb and forefinger to carefully lift the tooth by the crown. Picking it up this way will keep the roots away from your fingertips.
2. Wiping Dirt Off of the Tooth
Especially if your tooth landed in the dirt, your first impulse may be to clean it off by wiping the surface with a cloth or even the end of your shirt. While this may seem like a good thing to do at the time, physically wiping the tooth will most likely break off the roots.
Instead of rubbing the tooth, hold it by the crown using the technique described in the previous section. Then, if you have any milk, pour it over the tooth. The milk not only washes off the excess dirt, but it also safely moistens and nourishes the roots.
However, if you do not have any milk, you can spit on the tooth in a pinch. After cleaning the tooth as much as possible, place it in a small container, and cover it with either milk or saliva to keep it wet.
Avoiding the above mistakes while handling the tooth and keeping it moist in milk or your own saliva can help increase the chances that you may not lose it permanently. However, fast action must be taken to increase the chances of success. As soon as possible, go to an emergency dentistry service so that you can be treated right away.