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First aid for a damaged tooth
It is very important to wear a custom-fitted mouthguard
when training and playing contact sport to help protect
you against painful and expensive injuries to your teeth
and mouth.
This page explains what to do if a tooth
accidently gets damaged or knocked out.
If a tooth is cracked or chipped, see a dentist
as soon as possible. Place any broken pieces of
tooth in a small amount of milk, or plastic wrap if
milk is unavailable, and take them to the dentist
with you.
If a primary (baby) tooth is knocked out, it is
important to keep in mind the following:
• Do not attempt to put the tooth back in
its socket. This may cause damage to the
permanent tooth or lead to infection.
• See a dentist straight away to check if any
pieces of tooth remain in the socket and to
make sure no other damage has been done.
Factsheet
• To control bleeding, apply pressure directly
to the injured area with a clean cloth. To
minimise swelling, an ice pack or cold
compress can be applied to the site of the
injury.
If a secondary (adult) tooth is knocked out, it is
important to do the following, immediately:
• Locate the tooth and handle it gently.
• If it is difficult to put the tooth back in the
socket, keep it moist by putting it in a small
amount of milk or sealing it in plastic wrap.
• If in doubt about whether the tooth is primary
or secondary, put it back in its socket. The
risk of permanent damage to an adult tooth
not replaced is greater than the damage
caused by a baby tooth being put back in.
• Immediately seek dental treatment for
any damaged teeth - time is critical to
prevent permanent damage
xtreme care should be taken with a tooth
E
that has been knocked out. Try to avoid the
following:
• Do not handle the root of the tooth.
• Do not scrape or rub the surface of the tooth.
• Do not let the tooth dry out – keep it moist at
all times.
• Do not put the tooth in ice or hot water.
• Avoid rinsing or storing the tooth in water for
more than one or two seconds.
• Do not remove any soft tissue fragments from
the tooth.
• If soiled, rinse the entire tooth in milk or, very
quickly, in water to clean it.
• Place the tooth back in the socket, making
sure it is facing the right way around. It is
important to replace the tooth within 5-10
minutes of the tooth being knocked out.
For more information on
mouthguards and protecting teeth,
visit: www.mouthguardawareness.info
• Ask the patient to hold the tooth in place by
biting gently into a soft cloth. If the patient
has a mouthguard but wasn’t wearing it at
the time of the accident, this can also be
used to hold the tooth in place. Otherwise,
the person providing first aid can help keep
the tooth in place by covering the damaged
tooth and the teeth on either side with
aluminium foil.
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