There are so many injuries that your body can sustain, prevent and heal, unfortunately Teeth are a unique problem as “Teeth don’t heal themselves“. During our first aid program we have had many questions regarding teeth and how we can preserve, maintain and fix them after they have been damaged. What should I do with a knocked-out tooth? Can the tooth be put back after its been broken or knocked-out? To make things simple, its not always a sure thing “putting the tooth back” sometimes depending on the injury the Dentist will know more, and have a specific plan to repair the damage and minimize risk or long term effects of the injuries. For first aid we will focus on the best way known to help preserve the tooth so that it has a better chance of being put back by a trained Dental Professional.
- Any forceful blow or impact that involves the mouth
- Wear PPE or Personal Protective Equipment when available
- During Sports activities use a mouth guard or face mask-Always wear a seat belt while in a motorized vehicle
- Avoid eating or drinking in a moving vehicle if possible
What it Looks Like:
- Missing tooth “Hole where the tooth should have been“
- Bleeding from the gums or mouth “Often minimal bleeding“
- Pain in the mouth
- Deformed tooth “Piece’s missing“
How to Help:
- Check the area, once the area is safe, Check the person and ensure the persons ABC’s are present “Airway / Breathing / Circulation” REMEMBER – Wear gloves if available to avoid bodily fluids.
- Call 911 if you suspect the injuries could be severe, if there are airway could be blocked or there is excessive bleeding.
- Care for the Knocked-Out tooth by:
- Control bleeding by having the person bite down on a clean dressing.
- Carefully pick up the tooth “Or Pieces” by the crown “white part” not by the root.
- Rinse off the tooth or pieces “gently” with water. DO NOT scrub or remove tissue fragments that may be attached.
- Put the tooth in “Milk is preferred” or “Calcium Enriched Soy/Almond milk or water” If there is no milk or water wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze with some of the persons own saliva. Seal the the tooth or pieces in a container and label it with date and time “keep it with the person”
- Seek medical attention “Dentist or Emergency Room Dentist” as soon as possible. Chances for repair of the tooth is the highest in the “First Hour after Damage”
With any head injury it is always a good idea to seek further medical attention to avoid complications that may include the Head / Neck or Spine.
In any emergency just remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!