WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Over 5 million teeth are knocked out each year, and only 9% of adults in the U.S. know what to do when it happens.
In light of a recent survey from the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) that shows 3 in 4 Americans care about preserving their natural teeth, the president of the organization sat down to give advice on doing just that. He says that knocked-out teeth primarily occur due to some form of accident, whether bike or sports incidents.
And, he says the first step to take is to get the tooth back into place as quickly as possible.
“The first thing you want to do is actually find the tooth, and when you do find it you’re going to want to pick it up from the crown of the tooth and be careful not to touch the root,” says Stefan Zweig, D.D.S, President of the American Association of Endodontists.
“Secondly, you’re going to want to make sure the tooth is clean,” Many of these accidents occur on the street or on a sports field where debris gets onto the tooth. You’ll want to clean the tooth by gently rinsing it with water or milk. And then lastly, you will want to place the tooth into the socket from where it came,” he adds.
While losing a tooth isn’t always preventable, maintaining good oral hygiene will help alleviate the risk.
Studies are now showing that poor oral health doesn’t only affect the way people eat and their overall nutrition, but it could have more serious risks, too, such as diabetes, heart disease, and even oral cancer.
It can also have an effect on a person’s overall well-being.
“When you have poor oral health it affects your smile and your physical appearance to other people, and we know that that has a strong psychological effect, which affects the way you relate to people, it can even affect your job,” Zweig says.
The association advises people to go to the dentist right away after placing the knocked-out tooth back in their mouth.
For more information about saving teeth, root canals, or to search for an endodontist near you, you can visit the association on their website.