Teeth are precious and this month I am looking at what to do if you or your children have an accident involving your teeth.
Knocked a tooth out?
Here’s what to do to help save your tooth
- Step 1: Pick the tooth up by the crown only (do not touch the root)
- Step 2: Lick the tooth clean if it is dirty, or rinse it in water
- Step 3: Stick the tooth back in position (adult teeth only)
*** Never try to re-insert a baby tooth ***
- Step 4: Bite on a handkerchief to hold it in place
- Step 5: Go straight to a dentist
If it’s not possible to put the tooth back in position, put the tooth in milk and go straight to a dentist (out of hours go to A&E).
The above is taken from Dental Trauma UK. They have a brilliant website (www.dentaltrauma.co.uk) with a film that shows you what to do.
The sooner the tooth goes back in the more likely that it can be saved, ideally within 5 minutes of it being lost. Once the tooth is back in a dentist needs to check it is in ok and then may splint the tooth to its neighbours to hold it while it heals back.
Front baby teeth are lost at approximately 6 years old so a front tooth lost in a child younger than that shouldn’t be re inserted.
If as a result of trauma, the tooth is pushed up into the gum or displaced in another way again urgent attention is needed.
Broken front tooth
If a large piece of a front tooth is lost you need to see a dentist urgently. Keep the piece if possible the dentist may use it.
As well as being unsightly breaking your tooth exposes the inner layer of your teeth and bugs can then enter which may kill the nerve in the tooth.
If a very large piece is lost you may have exposed the nerve inside the tooth and this will need urgent treatment.
The best way to prevent trauma to teeth is by wearing a mouth guard. Any form of contact sport you should wear one. Ideally one custom made for you by your dental team so it fits you well.
At Lindley Dental we are happy to make sports guards and can offer a wide range of colours or patterns.
Patients of Lindley Dental who have a dental trauma should phone the practice straight away. Out of hours our message will tell you how to proceed. Denplan patients do have insurance cover for trauma (subject to Ts and Cs) If you are not yet a patient do call us and we will do our best to help.
So if spring tempts you out and about, mind how you go and no sport without your mouth guard!