When a child loses a tooth, it’s a cause for celebration. This is a sign that they’re growing up and they’ll soon have a full, beautiful set of adult teeth. But, if you’re an adult who recently noticed that one of their permanent pearly whites is wiggling around, this isn’t something to celebrate. So you know what to do if this ever happens to you, read on to learn the four steps you should follow if you have a loose tooth until your emergency dentist can see you.
Step #1: Contact Your Dentist
Whether your loose tooth is the result of an injury or an untreated oral health problem like gum disease, make sure to call your dentist as soon as you realize something is off. From there, they can help you through next steps and assist you in setting up an appointment to come in and have it examined. They will also be able to provide you with first aid information such as how to handle any puffiness, discomfort, or pain.
Step #2: Don’t Move It with Your Fingers or Tongue
It may be tempting to wiggle your loose tooth around with your fingers or tongue, but this will only end up doing more harm than good. Even if you’re doing this to try to move the tooth back into its proper position, you may end up causing additional damage in the process. It’s best to leave it alone and wait until your dentist can take a look.
Step #3: Avoid Sticky, Chewy, or Hard Foods
Unless your dentist can see you immediately, you will likely need to eat before going to your appointment. To prevent irritation to your teeth and gums, it’s best to stick to soft foods and liquids like smooth soups, yogurt, cooked cereal, and applesauce. Avoid sticky, chewy, or hard foods, as these can exacerbate the issue and damage your tooth even further.
Step #4: Keep It Clean
You won’t be able to brush and floss your damaged tooth like usual, but you still need to keep the area clean. Add half a teaspoon of table salt to a glass of hot water and rinse with the mixture to disinfect the loose tooth, reduce puffiness, and relieve discomfort. Just make sure to let the water cool down before you rinse with it to avoid additional damage or irritation.
Though these steps will help you handle a loose tooth, it’s best to avoid the issue in the first place by wearing a mouthguard if you play contact sports and maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent gum disease. You should also visit your dentist every six months so they can ensure that your smile remains healthy and your teeth stay where they belong!
About the Practice
Having a loose tooth as an adult can be pretty stressful. With Dr. Gilberto López and his talented Fort Smith team of oral health professionals at New Smile Dental, you’ll be able to get the situation under control. They can walk you through what to do until they can take a look at your mouth and determine what the issue is and the best way to fix it. Your smile will be looking lovely again in no time! Call New Smile Dental at (479) 434-4277 or visit their website for more information or to set up an appointment.