What Is The Best First Aid Advice For A Knocked-Out Tooth

Tooth First Aid

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Tooth First Aid For A Knocked-Out Tooth

Tooth First Aid is needed when a knocked-out tooth (or teeth) have sustained damage. Needing tooth First Aid is the definition of an unfortunate accident, but what is the correct Tooth First Aid treatment? Can you save your teeth and smile?

 If you play a sport that has any measure of contact with a ball or other people, it is always recommended that you wear a mouth guard as the first line of defence against unwanted dental injury. If your teeth get knocked, and there is no visible damage, don’t assume that damage has not occurred. Play it safe and book a check-up with your dentist. 

However, when there is obvious damage and the teeth have been knocked out completely or moved in the gum, you must seek emergency dental treatment.

Tooth First Aid On Children

What Is The Best First Aid For A Knocked-Out Baby Tooth?

The following steps are the best First Aid to administer dental treatment that could save a child’s tooth/ teeth from long-lasting damage.

Step 1: Never attempted to reinsert a baby tooth.

Step 2: Book an immediate emergency dental examination.           

Step 3: Baby teeth are temporary and designed to fall out and be replaced by permanent adult teeth.

Step 4: Where possible, store the tooth or teeth in milk or saliva to keep it alive and take the knocked-out tooth with you. Your dentist will need to establish that the entire tooth has been knocked out, not sheared off, leaving some tooth below the gumline that will need to be removed.

The dentists will assess the damage and recommend the correct course of action.

What Is The Best First Aid For A Knocked-Out Adult Tooth?

When an adult tooth (or teeth) have been knocked out, it is important to remain calm and act quickly.

Step 1: Locate the tooth as quickly as possible and pick it up by the chewing surface (crown). 

Step 2: Handle with care and avoid touching the bottom section of the tooth that goes into the gum (root).

Step 3: If dirty, ideally rinse the tooth with some milk. If milk is not available, rinse using tap water to knock off the surface dirt. Do not scrub or soak the tooth.

Step 4: Insert the tooth back into its previous position in the mouth.

Make sure it is the right way around and in the right place. Use the other teeth to check for correct orientation. Once back in the hole, gently bite down on a clean piece of soft cloth or tissue to help keep the tooth in place and control bleeding.

If you can’t get the tooth back into position, do not force it! Do not place the tooth in water. Always keep the tooth moist with enough milk or saliva to cover the whole tooth. Do not wrap the tooth in tissue or cloth, as this will dry out the tooth. If you must use something, use plastic wrap and enough spit to cover the tooth or teeth and wrap tightly to keep it moist.

Step 5: See a dentist immediately, ideally within 30 minutes. The faster the tooth is properly cleaned and reinserted, the greater the likelihood it will survive. 

Cracked, Chipped And Broken Teeth

Teeth can be cracked, chipped, or become loose from impact injuries. Long-term irreversible damage can occur if the teeth are not quickly assessed and treated by a dentist. If you chip your tooth, even slightly, always book an appointment to see your dentist. Inform them over the phone that you’ve had an accident so they can slot you into their schedule as an emergency patient and see you as soon as possible. 

Just because you can’t see any damage doesn’t mean it’s not there. Impact on the tooth by anything hard can cause ‘cracks’ in the enamel. This can cause root sensitivity and pain when you drink or eat hot and cold things. This damage will not be visible to the naked eye and will require an assessment by a dentist. If left unchecked, a cracked tooth can significantly increase the risk of an abscess infection, dental decay and force the removal of the tooth.

FACE First Aid 

FACE is an accredited Australian Registered Training Organisation specialising in First Aid courses. If you need to update your First Aid certification or become certified for the first time, FACE has a range of options to suit every schedule and over 120 locations across Australia with a trainer near you. 

Visit our website and use the easy-to-navigate toggles to find the right course and venue. If you need some inspiration, shoot over to our FACE Blog page and read up on the various topics or take our First Aid Quiz and test your current First Aid knowledge.

Related References

Australian Dental Association:


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