So you had a great time celebrating New Year’s Eve but something happened. You tripped and knocked your tooth out! Forget about it being New Year’s. Maybe your daughter caught a taste of a softball while playing with the neighborhood kids. Whatever the case, the tooth is on the ground and you need to act fast!
After you assess the situation and are ready to deal with the tooth, your first job is to locate it and handle it by its crown (Note: it is generally not recommended to re-implant a baby tooth). If it was completely avulsed (knocked out), ideally the tooth should be gently rinsed (do not scrub it) of any foreign matter with saline or milk and re-implanted exactly as it was before the injury took place. This is not practical in some situations because there may be blood all over the place and let’s face it, you just don’t know how it goes in! This is completely understandable. The next best thing to do is to put the tooth in milk or saline and care for your child as needed. In either case you should see your dentist immediately!
The dentist is the best person to evaluate the injury. Most likely a radiograph will be taken to evaluate the site for any fractures among other things. Having a radiograph also gives the dentist the ability to see if the re-implanted tooth is positioned properly. If you were not able to re-implant the tooth before your visit to the dentist, your dentist will decide if it is at all possible to put it back in.
Not all situations are treated the same. Especially when dealing with “baby” teeth vs “adult” teeth. If you find yourself in a situation where a tooth has been knocked out, call and visit the dentist immediately for guidance because every case is unique and the dentist will have the patient’s health history to give professional advice.