We always heard the benefits of drinking milk as kids, but did you know that milk can be useful in the event of a dental crisis?
A knocked-out (avulsed) tooth is one of the most feared dental emergencies and no one plans for these dental accidents. We want to make sure you are fully prepared for an unexpected injury. Let’s say it was your unlucky day, here is what to do:
The first thing to keep in mind is time is absolutely critical in saving a permanent tooth that has been dislodged from its socket. A knocked-out tooth has a better chance of being saved if the tooth is treated by a dentist within the hour after the accident.
The tooth should be handled very carefully and avoid touching the root portion. Handle the tooth by the crown (chewing end) portion only, the root end has very delicate periodontal ligament cells that will aid in reattaching the tooth back into its socket. You should not touch the root of tooth to preserve the life of these vital cells. If it is possible to place the tooth back into position, do so immediately and very gently. Do not force tooth back into the socket as you could cause further damage to the tissue. Hold the tooth steadily in place while you get professional help from your dentist. If the root of tooth is dirty, rinse it carefully with milk before attempting to put back into place. Do not scrub, brush, or wipe the root end of the tooth.
If you cannot reinsert the tooth back in, it is important to keep the tooth moist at all times. You’ll have two options at this point: holding the tooth between your gum and cheek or putting it in a container with milk. Place the tooth in milk to avoid the nerve from drying out. Do not transport the tooth in water, cloth, paper towel, fruit juice, coffee, or beer. If it’s not milk, do not even try it. The periodontal ligament cells will not tolerate other liquids and could die.
You might be asking why milk? Milk has a neutral pH balance, relatively bacteria-free and contains vitamins to keep the tooth preserved for a limited time. There are other mediums that can help, but milk is easiest to find and does the job while you seek dental care.
Interested in reading more? Here’s a study you can nerd out on: