Knocked Out Teeth: How to Save Your Teeth in an Emergency

Contrary to what the movies might tell you, there are other ways to knock out a tooth than getting into a fistfight. One of the most common dental emergencies is knocked out or avulsed teeth, which can occur due to falls, face injuries, contact sports, and more. While this ailment is common, only about 9 percent of adults in the U.S. know what to do if it happens.

Not all hope is lost if you find yourself with an avulsed tooth, but you must act fast. Ideally, you should see your dentist within 30 minutes after losing the tooth or teeth; however, reimplantation occurs after over an hour. With these steps, you can be prepared and more likely to salvage your lost tooth!

What to do if your tooth gets knocked out:

  1. Locate and pick up the tooth by the crown.
    Under NO circumstances should you pick the tooth up by the roots. Hold the tooth at the crown (chewing surface). Be very gentle when handling the tooth and do your best not to damage the roots for greater chances of reimplantation.
  2. If the tooth is dirty, rinse gently with water.
    Rinse the tooth for no more than 10 seconds, only using lukewarm water. Do not use chemicals or soaps. Even too much tap water can kill the root cells needed for successful reimplantation. Do not dry the tooth, wipe it off, or place it in a paper towel.
  3. Attempt to place the tooth back in the socket.
    Placing the tooth back in the socket is the most critical next step until you can get to your dentist. If the lost tooth is wholly intact from root to crown, attempt to place the tooth back in the socket right away. Holding it by the crown, push the tooth into the socket gently. Hold the tooth in place with your fingers or very gently bite down.
  4. Keep the tooth moist at all times.
    DO NOT let the tooth dry out; keep it moist at all times. If the tooth will not go back into the socket, you have a couple of options. According to the Mayo Clinic, placing the tooth in your cheek is the best and most natural alternative to placing it back in the socket. You can also place the tooth in milk or an over-the-counter emergency tooth preservation kit if you can access it quickly.
  5. See your dentist within 30 minutes of the injury.
    After your tooth has been knocked completely out, the nerve is severed, and the blood supply is lost, meaning you do not have much time before that nerve dies completely. Call Point Clear Dental Associates immediately to inquire about our emergency services. Please go to the emergency room if the dentist cannot see you in time.
    Depending on the damage, it can take a tooth anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks to successfully reattach into the socket. After the tooth has healed, there should be no need for further services besides your regular check-ups. If the tooth cannot be reimplanted, your dentist will most likely discuss tooth replacement options, such as a dental bridge or dental implant, with you after the socket has healed. 

When life happens, you can be prepared and potentially save yourself from a much more invasive and costly procedure. At Point Clear Dental Aesthetics, we want you fully equipped with the knowledge you need to care for your oral health. 

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Do’s and Don’ts After Teeth Whitening

So many of our patients at Point Clear Dental Associates ask about what they should do and what they should avoid to ensure their teeth whitening treatment is as successful as possible. We’ve heard it all from “Can I eat chicken nuggets after my teeth whitening?” to questions about nicotine use and dark-colored liquids and how they can affect treatment. Don’t worry though, we’ve got the answers for every do and don’t question we’ve heard so far.

 

These guidelines are most important to follow in the 48 hours after your teeth whitening appointment when your teeth are at their most porous. Some patients prefer to play it safe and follow these recommendations for longer from anywhere to 72 hours after, to a full week.

Do’s After Teeth Whitening

  • Do use a desensitizing toothpaste after your appointment to reduce any chance of discomfort.
  • Do try to stick just to drinking water. Even clear beverages like Sprite can discolor your teeth due to carbonation, acidity, and high sugar content.
  • Do eat white and light-colored foods like white rice, white sauce, most kinds of pasta, unbreaded chicken (yes, sadly, excluding chicken nuggets), and white fish like Atlantic cod and haddock.
  • Do feel free to eat popcorn but be safe by being mindful of any pieces getting stuck in hard-to-reach places and remove them.

Don’ts After Teeth Whitening

  • Don’t eat dark-colored foods like salmon, beef, chocolate, and peanut butter, or drink darkly colored beverages like coffee and most juices. Research has shown that red wine, tea, and cola stain teeth after whitening treatment, interesting coffee didn’t show the same results, but we recommend avoiding it to be safe regardless.
  • Don’t drink beer, red wines, or sugary mixed drinks, if you do drink alcohol stick to clear liquids like vodka, gin, and white wine.
  • Don’t vape or smoke, or use any orally administered nicotine product, for at least the first 24-48 hours after. After that, or if you cannot abstain, we recommend brushing your teeth after.
  • Don’t use mouthwash or colored toothpaste.
  • Don’t eat condiments other than mayo or similarly white condiments.
  • Don’t eat fruits and vegetables like tomatoes or beets, but lettuce and others that require little chewing, are lighter in color.

The Bottom Line

The basics of do’s and don’ts after teeth whitening could be summarized as follows: If it can stain a t-shirt it could stain your teeth and try to practice the fundamentals of oral hygiene. 

 

We hope these tips can help you before your appointment, whether at our office or elsewhere. Professional teeth whitenings are a safe, effective procedure that we’ve seen transform patients’ self-image and self-confidence and we would love to be able to do the same for you.

If you are in Fairhope, AL, we would love to help you explore your options when it comes to teeth whitening and answer any other questions that you may have. 

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Bleeding Gums: Why It Occurs & What to Do

Bleeding Gums: Simple Solutions for a Healthy Smile

Bleeding gums are a fairly common occurrence, often arising from minor irritations or improper oral hygiene. While not inherently serious, persistent bleeding can indicate underlying issues. Let’s explore the why and how of this common issue, along with effective home remedies and when to seek professional help.

 Common Culprits Behind Bleeding Gums

  • Plaque & Tartar Buildup: Plaque, a sticky film harboring bacteria, hardens into tartar if not removed. This irritates gums, leading to inflammation and bleeding.

  • Brushing Lapses & Harsh Tools: Skipping brushing or using a worn-out, stiff toothbrush can aggravate gums and cause bleeding.

  • Flossing Faux Pas: Overzealous flossing can injure delicate tissue, resulting in temporary bleeding.

  • Gingivitis: This inflammation, often caused by poor oral hygiene, is a prime culprit behind bleeding gums.

Tame the Bleeds: Effective Home Remedies at Your Fingertips

  • Gauze: Similar to treating any wound, apply gentle pressure with gauze to staunch the bleeding. Consult your dentist if bleeding persists beyond a few minutes.
  • Ice: A cold compress or ice cube held against the bleeding area can reduce swelling and soothe discomfort.
  • Mouthwash: Choose a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide, known for its anti-gingivitis and bleeding-prevention properties.
  • Brush: Opt for an “extra soft” or “sensitive” toothbrush and brush gently twice daily. Replace your brush every 3-4 months.
  • Floss: Gently floss daily to remove plaque and food particles between teeth, but avoid aggressive techniques that irritate gums.
  • Check-Ups: Attending regular dental checkups every 6 months is imperative to keeping a healthy mouth and treating bleeding gums.

When to Seek Professional Guidance

While home remedies can often address occasional gum bleeding, consult your dentist if:

  • Bleeding persists despite good oral hygiene practices.
  • You experience severe pain or swelling.
  • Bleeding accompanies signs of gum recession or loose teeth.
  • You have underlying medical conditions affecting gums.

Remember, consistent dental hygiene and regular checkups are key to maintaining healthy gums and a confident smile.

Learn More About Gum Disease

Tooth Decay & How To Prevent Cavities

Preventing Cavities in Fairhope, AL

Cavities, often referred to as tooth decay, are tiny holes that develop in the hard surface of your teeth. They are most common in children and teenagers, but they can affect everyone including infants and toddlers. Join Point Clear Dental Associates as we take a closer look at what causes cavities and how you can prevent them.

Causes of Cavities

Cavities typically occur as a result of poor oral health habits but other various factors can increase the risk of getting a cavity, including:

  • Dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food stuck on the teeth and it counters the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth, which reduces the chance of cavities.
  • Foods and drinks. Certain foods aren’t as easily washed away from saliva, making them more likely to cause decay. Foods you should limit include ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, cake, chips, cookies, and hard candy.
  • Constant snacking or sipping. Drinking or eating frequently throughout the day results in increased bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria produce the acids that attack tooth enamel.
  • Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities and can reverse the early stage of tooth decay. Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to help reduce your chance of cavities.

Cavity Prevention

Regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are the best protection against cavities. But, cavities left untreated get larger and larger, affecting the deeper layers of your teeth. Deeper cavities result in higher chances of experiencing severe toothache and infection. So, when it comes to cavities, prevention is key. Below are some of our cavity prevention tips:

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Brush and floss twice a day, ideally after each meal.
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque that builds up over time which isn’t removed by regular brushing and flossing. Going to the dentist twice a year is one of the best cavity prevention options.
  • Dental sealants. Sealants protect the tooth enamel from harmful plaque and bacteria.

If you think that you have a cavity or are experiencing tooth decay, contact our Fairhope, AL, office immediately at 251-929-8705.

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Point Clear Dental Associates

18157 Wright Blvd.
Fairhope, AL 36532
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Hours

Monday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Phone

251-929-8705