A Technical Knockout

By Catherine M. Fascilla, D.D.S.

If you are like most parents, the safety of your children is a top priority. We hover over them, set goals, teach them right from wrong, but we can’t prevent accidents from occurring. As toddlers take their first steps, or children engage in sports activities such as bicycle riding, a tooth can be knocked out if an accident or fall occurs. When a tooth is “down for the count”, it is vital that you as a parent know the proper steps to take to win the fight.

A tooth knocked out is like a fish out of water. It can be saved and continue to thrive if it is returned to its natural environment as quickly as possible. If you wait too long, the tooth will be lost for good. Therefore, since time is of the essence, follow these steps:

Ideally: If possible, gently rinse the tooth with tap water. Carefully place the tooth back in its socket, and get to the dentist immediately. Resist the urge to clean the tooth because the root membrane is very delicate and it must be intact to encourage re-attachment.

Next Best: If you are unable to replace the tooth in the socket, store the tooth in milk  on the way to the dentist. Milk is better than water for storing.

Remember for successful replantation, time is the key and a technical knockout can be averted.

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