What to do when a Tooth Fell Out? (3 Reliable Storing Tips)

5 tips if your tooth fell out

Last Updated on: 26th December 2023, 02:57 am

The fallen tooth is the main cause of dental emergencies and represents damage to oral health with aesthetic, functional, psychological, and economic consequences. In this article, you will learn how can you save a tooth fell out and what preventive measures should do.

About 80% of the tooth fell out of the mouth after trauma can be successfully reimplanted. Many of these traumas are caused by automobile accidents, falls, violence, or the practice of contact sports.

Fallen teeth are also known as dental avulsion, which means that the tooth has been completely dislodged from the bone, and therefore from the mouth, leaving all the tissues surrounding the tooth injured. The teeth that most frequently fall out are the front and upper teeth. It is more frequent in boys than in girls and occurs most frequently between seven and nine years of age.

Fallen teeth require immediate attention. The measures to be taken in the first moments of the emergency will determine the prognosis of the affected tooth. The ideal treatment is reimplantation as quickly as possible and dental fixation with a flexible splint. Reimplantation is intended to allow the cells and fibers of the periodontal ligament to re-form and support the tooth. Usually, the temporary tooth is not re-implanted.

Saving a tooth fell out

It is important to recognize that success in getting a fallen tooth back into the mouth depends on the time it spends out of the mouth and the medium or substance in which we keep the tooth until we can visit the dentist.

The first aid that we can give at the moment of the accident is:

careful manipulation of the fallen tooth

1. Careful manipulation of the fallen tooth

If the tooth completely falls out of the mouth, the first thing to do is to look for it, find it, and avoid manipulating it, above all avoid touching the roots. You can hold the fallen tooth by the crown, which is the whitest part and the part we normally see in our mouth. Do not rub the tooth or scrape it to remove debris. This damages the root surface, which may make the fallen tooth less likely to survive.

2. Rinse the avulsed tooth

If the fallen or avulsed tooth is dirty, you should pick it up by the crown and rinse it under cold running water for only 10 seconds, and then reimplant it, but never leave it in a container of water while it is being re-implanted. 

Extracting a tooth on your own have a high risk of infection. We have a comprehensive guide on how to pull a tooth safely.

Where should I store the fallen tooth?

The use of an inappropriate storage medium increases the possibility of necrosis of the tissues surrounding the tooth, leading to future resorption and loss of the tooth. According to the “Guidelines for the Management of Dental Trauma” of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the following recommendations were made:

1. Water

Water is the least recommended medium; water will only help us to rinse the tooth for no more than 10 seconds as we saw before.

2. Saliva

Saliva, despite its content of bacteria and its potential harm to tooth cells, is considered a preferable medium for transportation when compared to water or dry methods, especially when other more effective means are not available. However, it’s worth noting that excessive saliva can be a concern in certain situations and may require appropriate management.

3. Milk

Milk is known as a suitable storage medium because of its properties such as easy availability, not requiring refrigeration, and being free of bacteria due to pasteurization and other sanitization processes. Milk is a good short-term medium if the tooth is placed in it for at most half an hour.


Other storage for a tooth fell out

You can also use an over-the-counter product that preserves the fallen tooth, such as those approved by the American Dental Association, which can be obtained in pharmacies, for example, Hank’s balanced salt solution, is considered the best means of storing the avulsed tooth, but its main disadvantages are high cost, low availability and short expiration date.

What medicine should you take?

Generally, if a tooth falls out in an accident, we could have pain and inflammation in the area, so it will be very helpful medications such as painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs, for example, Paracetamol, Naproxen, or Ibuprofen. It is important to remember that we should not self-medicate and much fewer use antibiotics indiscriminately, so the use of antibiotics will only be indicated by the professional. Our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, and Port Hueneme will be able to prescribe antibiotics if necessary.


consult your dentist

Go to your dentist promptly, preferably within an hour, and not forgetting your fallen tooth in case you have put it in a glass. Immediate reimplantation, within the first 15 to 20 minutes, is the most recommended. Do not worry if you have not been able to follow all the steps indicated, the less time that passes, the better the chances of preserving the affected tooth. Try not to take more than an hour to get to the dentist. Seek emergency dental care.

If you cannot find the tooth fell out, it is still important to see a dentist as soon as possible. The tooth, whether permanent or baby, could be embedded in the gums from the accident.

Contact us

If you have any questions about tips on a tooth fell out or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Islands Family Dental as well as our page on Facebook. We look forward to your visit and we will make a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in  Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, Newbury Parkand  Port Hueneme will be able to guide you toward the best treatment to take care of your health and give you back your best smile.

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