What to Do with A Loose Tooth as an Adult

Hockey player missing a tooth

Everybody remembers what it was like to lose their teeth as a kid. There’s the strange feeling of a molar coming loose, the excitement of waiting for the tooth fairy, and the awe at watching your adult teeth come in right behind. It’s a precious memory for many, but just about everyone wants those memories to stay in the past. Losing a tooth as an adult is usually more a cause for concern than anything else. If you have a tooth that’s in danger of falling out, here’s what you should do.

Schedule an Emergency Appointment

The first thing you need to do is call your dentist. If you act quickly, a dental splint could be used to secure the tooth back into place. Getting treatment within 24 hours of your tooth coming loose is recommended to maximize your chances of successfully re-attaching it. Most dental offices offer same-day emergency appointments, so if you have a loose tooth you should be able to see somebody within that timeframe. If it’s after hours for your dentist, check their voicemail message for an emergency after-hours number. If there isn’t one, just leave a voicemail with a detailed description of your issue.

What To Do Until Your Appointment

Your dentist will try and get you in as soon as possible, but it will probably be some time before they can see you. If you’re able to get ahold of the front desk, they’ll give you some instructions for what you can do until you see the dentist. If you can’t reach anybody, here’s some advice that tends to apply in situations like this:

  • Don’t Mess with The Tooth: As always, the safest place to keep a loose tooth is in your mouth. If it hasn’t completely fallen out yet, try to avoid playing with it. Even if it doesn’t come out, wiggling a tooth can decrease the likelihood of success for a potential dental splint.
  • Don’t Pull the Tooth: Shut the door and put away the string. Trying to extract a tooth on your own only increases your risk for infection. And it’ll hurt.
  • Use OTC Pain Relievers: If your tooth is aching, ibuprofen will be your best friend for the next few hours.
  • Avoid Hard/Gummy/Sticky Foods: You should avoid chewing with the loose tooth altogether, but you should especially stay away from those foods that could cause it to come out if you accidentally bite down.
  • Rinse With Water or Mouthwash: You should try and keep your tooth clean until your appointment, but brushing and flossing can potentially wiggle your tooth out of place. Instead, gently rinse with either warm water or an anti-bacterial mouthwash.

Losing a tooth as an adult is scary, but isn’t as rare as it sounds. If you take care of yourself for a few hours, your dentist will be able to address the issue.

About Our Practice

At Pelican Landing Dental, we have a team of seven experienced dentists on staff, which allows us to do more for our patients than most practices. Between them, our expert dentists can deal with nearly any issue you might be having, no matter its nature or severity. We also have the personnel to ensure that everyone who visits our office gets the one-on-one attention they deserve. If you have any questions about what to do in a dental emergency, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (239) 948-2111.