Just because you can't fix teeth at home doesn't mean you can't take steps to improve the outcome. These first-aid tips can increase your chances for successful broken tooth repair.
Save the pieces. If you act quickly and your break was relatively clean, the dentist may be able to cement the tooth back together. This is a temporary tooth repair which will require additional treatment.
Try DIY tooth repair. A knocked-out tooth isn't necessarily a permanent loss. In some instances, the tooth can be successfully reimplanted in the mouth. Getting immediate emergency dental care is essential; however, you can help the process by reattaching the tooth prior to heading to your dentist's office for broken tooth repair.
To start, hold the tooth by the crown (chewing edge), and gently rinse it in warm water. Do not scrub the roots. Next, place the tooth in the socket, to the level of adjacent teeth. Don't force it. Make sure the tooth is facing the right way. Biting down gently on gauze or a wet teabag is a good way to keep the tooth in place on the ride to the dentist. Be careful not to swallow the tooth.
If your tooth doesn't easily fit in its socket or you're just uncomfortable with the idea of replacing it on your own, just properly transport it as outlined below and go directly to visit the dentist.
Transport your tooth. Whether you're taking the dentist a whole tooth or a fragment, keeping it moist is essential. Place the broken tooth in a container with a small amount of saliva or milk. Using tap water should be a last resort because it contains chlorine which may damage the root. Another good transport option is to place the tooth back in the mouth between the lower lip and gum or under the tongue.
Rinse your mouth. Rinsing your mouth with warm, saltwater will help clean the wound.
Stop the bleeding. Persistent bleeding can be controlled by applying a piece of gauze to the area for 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.
Apply a cold compress. Applying a cold compress to the cheeks or lips over a broken tooth will help reduce swelling.
Protect your mouth. Broken teeth can be razor sharp. If you're unable to see your dentist right away, protect your tongue and cheeks by covering the broken surface of the tooth with temporary dental cement from the pharmacy or chewing gum.
Avoid eating or drinking. If you must eat, choose soft foods and avoid biting down on the broken tooth.
See your dentist: Stat! After stabilizing the situation, alert your dentist that you require emergency broken tooth repair. Remember, tooth repair is most likely to be successful when performed within 24 hours of the damage occurring. You have to move fast if you want to fix teeth right.