Toothy Matters

As summer approaches, biking and other active pursuits can mean an increased risk of injuries, including a loose, broken, or knocked-out tooth. This is painful and traumatic, but doesn’t necessarily mean a permanent gap in your smile — a tooth can sometimes be reimplanted, and a broken or loose tooth can often be saved.

Act quickly for the best chances of successful repair:

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, find it quickly. Contact your dentist immediately and take the tooth with you when seeking medical assistance.

Transport the tooth in the socket if possible, biting down on gauze to hold it in place and being careful not to swallow it. Otherwise, transport the tooth in a small container and cover it with milk or saliva.

Use direct pressure to stop bleeding at the site, and cold compress to reduce pain.

If a baby tooth is knocked out, save it for the Tooth Fairy. Follow the first-aid tips above, but don’t bother rushing the tooth to the dentist.

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