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Can Milk Really Preserve a Fallen Tooth?
Can Milk Really Preserve a Fallen Tooth?

Carrie’s 12-year old daughter was happily playing in the back yard with the neighborhood kids. She could hear the gleeful sounds of laughter coming through the open window. Suddenly, the lighthearted mood changed. Her daughter had fallen onto the driveway and knocked out one of her front teeth.  Her daughter came running in, mouth bleeding, holding her knocked out tooth in her hand. Her mouth was already beginning to swell. Carrie did not think she could put the tooth back into the now-empty socket so she did the next best thing and gently placed the tooth in a cup of milk. She called the dentist’s office and headed out the door. A few hours later, her daughter was resting, with the tooth safely back in her mouth.

Knocked Out Teeth: What to do

If your tooth is knocked out, the best place to keep it is actually in your mouth, when possible. Gently placing the tooth back into the empty socket or even holding it the space between the cheek and gum can help preserve the tooth by keeping the root moist and viable. Obviously, if the person is not conscious, you should call 911 and not try to put anything into their mouth.

If it is a permanent adult tooth you can do the following:

·       Handle the tooth as little as possible. Do not touch the roots, pick it up by the crown.

·       If you can gently slip it back into the socket (making sure it is facing he right way), do so.

·        If the tooth is covered in dirt or debris, you should gently rinse it, being careful not to drop it, with milk. (If milk is unavailable, do NOT use soy-milk or any milk substitutes.)

·       If you do not have milk, you can use warm water instead.

·       Do not add soap or any kind of disinfectant.

·       Do not brush the tooth with a washcloth or a toothbrush.

·       Do not use very hot water as it can further damage the tooth.

·       Get to your dentist as soon as possible. The faster you see your dentist, the greater the chance you have of saving the tooth.

Once your dentist has the tooth, he or she will gently clean out the socket and replace the tooth, if possible. As long as the bone surrounding the tooth was not broken, it is likely to accept the tooth and be fully healed in six to eight weeks. Your dentist may also use a soft wire or other material to create a dental splint that holds the tooth in place, using nearby teeth as an anchoring system. Your dentist will also advise you about follow-up visits, brushing, flossing and eating.

Dentists are trained to treat dental emergencies. Dental problems don’t go away on their own. If you need caring, expert treatment for a knocked out tooth or any other dental issues, call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today or schedule an appointment online.




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