What To Do When You Have a Tooth Knocked Out

If you suffer a blow to the mouth or fall and hit your face, this could cause severe damage to your teeth. Sometimes, an impact can knock teeth out completely. A tooth knocked out of your mouth is a dental avulsion. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to save a tooth knocked out of your gums, as long as it’s whole and looked after well.

Understanding what to do when a tooth is knocked out can help prevent you from losing the tooth or help you provide first aid to a loved one when they have a tooth knocked out. In this guide, we’ll talk you through how to deal with adult tooth first aid and dealing with a baby tooth knocked out while a child is playing.

Adult Tooth Knocked Out

The first step is to remain calm so you can act quickly without damaging or losing the tooth. Find the tooth if you can, and follow the instructions below.

Never touch the tooth by the root.

Always pick a knocked-out tooth up by the crown or the enamel. The root is too easily damaged to handle.

If dirty, gently rinse the tooth with water.

Rinse the tooth gently to remove surface dirt. You may also use milk to rinse the tooth. Never scrub or soak knocked-out teeth.

Reposition the tooth in the socket immediately, if possible.

Make sure the tooth is the right way up and facing the right way, i.e. don’t turn the outside face of the tooth so it’s pointing into your mouth. Use a mirror or have a friend/family member assist you. Check that the teeth line up and that your smile looks the same as before. Bite down on a clean cloth gently to keep the avulsed tooth in place. If you own a mouth guard, this can help keep the tooth where it needs to be. Never force a tooth back in that won’t go. Never wrap a knocked-out tooth in a tissue or a cloth.

See a dentist within 30 minutes of the injury.

The sooner you see a dentist, the better the chance of saving your tooth. Check your dentist’s emergency hours and make sure you have their number saved to your phone. If you can’t reinsert the tooth, take it with you immersed in milk.

What If It’s a Baby Tooth?

Never try to reinsert a baby tooth if it’s been knocked out. It’s possible it could fuse to the bone and prevent the growth of an adult tooth in that position. Place the tooth in some milk and take your child to the dentist as soon as possible. In most instances, having a baby tooth knocked out is nothing to worry about. Your dentist will check the rest of your child’s teeth for signs of damage and usually arrange a future check-up to ensure the rest of the teeth are developing normally around the gap.

How To Avoid Getting a Tooth Knocked Out?

If you’re very active, especially if you play contact sports, you’re automatically at a higher risk of mouth injury, including having teeth knocked out. Mouthguards are one sensible precaution. Talk to a dentist about having a custom mouth guard fitted, which is far more effective and comfortable than an over-the-counter solution.


Studies show that leaving a knocked-out tooth without treatment can severely affect the person’s quality of your life. Problems include a need for further dental treatment, plus discomfort when eating or drinking. In some cases, a knocked-out tooth can leave a gap that causes problems with speech. Beyond the practical considerations, losing a tooth can affect your appearance. This can impact your self-confidence or lead you to seek cosmetic dental treatments.

Follow our advice to avoid dental avulsions. If the worst happens, follow the dental first aid guidelines above and contact Whitehorse Dental as soon as you can for advice and assistance.