Do you know what to do with a knocked-out tooth? Whether the cause is sports, an accident, or assault, it is important to know what to do and when to do it. Injuring a tooth is never fun, but the good news is that most teeth can be reinserted into the tooth socket if you keep the ligament alive. Though the best choice is to get to Dr. Jaleel, your Ottawa dentist, as soon as possible, there are some important tips to know along the way.
Handle the Tooth Gently
When a tooth is severed from its socket, the ligament attached is destroyed. In order to properly survive, the tooth needs all the tiny nerve fibers to remain attached. First, carefully pick up the tooth by the crown, not the root. Gently wipe any excess dirt from the tooth and either set it back into the socket or hold it between your cheek and gums in your mouth as you are heading for emergency help, hopefully within 15 to 30 minutes. Bathing the tooth in your own saliva will help keep it alive.
Storing the Tooth
If the tooth cannot be placed in the person’s mouth, the next best thing to place it in cold, whole milk. You can also obtain a special pH-balanced, cell-cultured solution that will keep the tooth alive for a longer period of time. Many dentists have this option in their dental practices in order to save a tooth that has been knocked out.
Teeth Lost to Disease Can’t Be Saved
A tooth lost due to an accident has a 90 percent chance of being saved if proper procedure is followed, but for one lost due to periodontal disease, none of these measures will help. The lesson here is to make sure you see your dentist for regular checkups, and if you show signs of gum disease, make sure to seek treatment.
The Importance of a Mouth Guard and How to Care for Your Mouth Guard
A mouth guard is a soft plastic or laminate device used in sports to prevent oral injuries to the teeth, mouth, cheeks, tongue and jaw. The American Dental Association projects that one third of all dental injuries are sports related. The use of a mouth guard can prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries to the mouth each year. The good news is, Dr. Jaleel can custom-make a mouth guard just for you!
Both before and after wearing a mouth guard it’s important to both brush and rinse your teeth. Doing this before you put the guard on helps to clean and rid the teeth of any bacteria that remains in the mouth so that it doesn’t spread to the guard. The mouth is always full of bacteria of all forms, the good and the bad. Keeping your mouth clean is the only way to create a healthy balance. Brush and rinse after wearing a mouth guard to rid the mouth of any bacteria that may have been on the guard.
Equally important is the manner in which the athletic mouth guard is stored. It should be stored in a clean container that is moisture-free and has air vents. Regular cleaning of the container helps to prevent the spread of germs, as well. Wash the container using a non-toxic cleaner and warm water and ensure that it is completely dry before placing the mouth guard inside.
As hard as it may seem, especially during those finger biting moments of the game, discourage the habit of chewing on the mouth guard. Although it may seem harmless, chewing on the guard creates tiny holes. These holes can serve as a home for bacteria. Once this harmful bacteria is present, there is very little you can do to prevent it from spreading. A guard that is showing clearly visible signs of wear and tear probably needs to be replaced. It may even be helpful to take the mouth guard along with you to a dental appointment. Allow Dr. Jaleel to look over it and advise you on whether it’s time for a replacement.