If your tooth is knocked out:
- Handle your tooth by the top only, not the roots.
- Don't rub it or scrape it to remove debris. This damages the root surface, making the tooth less likely to survive.
- Gently rinse your tooth in a bowl of tap water. Don't hold it under running water.
- Try to replace your tooth in the socket. If it doesn't go all the way into place, bite down gently on gauze or a moistened tea bag to help keep it in place. Hold the tooth in place until you see your dentist.
- If you can't replace your tooth in the socket, immediately place it in whole milk, your own saliva or a warm, mild saltwater solution — 1/4 teaspoon salt to 1 quart water (1.2 milliliters salt to about 1 liter water).
- Get medical attention from a dentist or emergency room immediately.
If you participate in contact sports, you can often prevent tooth loss by wearing a mouth guard, fitted by your dentist.