Our team loves answering your dental questions, and today we have a doozie for our “Tooth Truth or Mouth Myth.” If you’ve ever lost a permanent tooth, you may have wondered what to do. You might have even heard this old piece of advice:
Store a dislodged tooth in milk to “save it” so your dentist can put it back in place.
This old wives’ tale implies that placing a knocked-out tooth in milk protects the tooth until it’s put back in its socket. So, is this a Tooth Truth or a Mouth Myth?
So, Should You Put a Dislodged Tooth in Milk?
Our Dentists Conclude: Yes‚ milk is an excellent temporary preservative for a dislodged tooth
because its chemical makeup is compatible with teeth. Milk contains sugars and proteins that help fortify tooth cells. Plus, milk’s antibacterial properties keep the tooth protected until it can be reattached.
Can a Loose Tooth Be Saved?
Yes, but we need to act quickly. Here’s what to do if you or someone around you has a permanent tooth dislodged:
- A lost baby tooth can’t be replaced and doesn’t need to be reattached. You can typically save a permanent tooth if you act quickly and handle the tooth properly. A permanent tooth has the best chance of survival if replaced within 30 minutes.
- Get into your Dakota Dental Apple Valley Dental Clinic for professional dental emergency services as quickly as possible. We accommodate dental emergencies. With proper dental procedures, the dislocated tooth often reattaches.
If it’s bleeding:
- Put cold water on a piece of gauze and apply pressure to the site.
If it’s dirty:
- Gently rinse the tooth with water ONLY. Do not use any chemicals, including soap.
- Keep the tooth moist – don’t store it in cloth.
If you need to touch it or pick it up:
- Handle the tooth very carefully and don’t touch the root of the tooth (the part of the tooth embedded in the gum) because it can be easily damaged. Pick it up by the crown instead.
When you need to store it:
- The best place to preserve the tooth on the way to our Apple Valley Dental Clinic is in its socket. But only attempt to very gently place the tooth back in the socket if the individual is old enough not to swallow it. You can also gently place the tooth in the mouth between the cheek and gum (again, only if the individual won’t swallow it.)
- Keeping the tooth moist is essential. If storing the tooth in its socket isn’t an option, try carefully placing the tooth in milk. If no milk is available, spit in a container and place the tooth into the saliva. Only use tap water as a last resort—it contains chlorine, which may damage the root.
- Even if the chances of reattaching seem unlikely, our Apple Valley dentists recommend that you try your best to save the tooth.
The Dakota Dental Difference
During a traumatic event (such as losing a permanent tooth), it’s common to panic. Our experienced dentists can gently and effectively handle your injuries. We’ll do our best to reattach your tooth and if it’s unsuccessful, don’t worry—there are other options to explore.
See Our Specialists as Quickly as Possible
From sports injuries to car accidents, approximately 5 million teeth are knocked out every year. The odds of saving a tooth are highest in young children, but it’s possible to save adult teeth, especially if you act quickly. Even if the tooth reattaches, you may need additional dental procedures to prevent the tooth from darkening or becoming infected.
We leave room in our schedule to accommodate emergencies. Don’t hesitate to call us if you need us. Whatever your dental needs, our team can help them with gentleness and care. Contact Dakota Dental to schedule your next appointment.