It’s an unfortunate fact of life that accidents happen. Despite our best attempts at prevention, we can still find ourselves in unexpected situations where we’ve injured ourselves. Dental injuries, like knocking out a tooth, can be particularly alarming because teeth are hard to come by! Thankfully, after first calling an emergency dentist in Indianapolis, there are some simple steps you can take to increase the likelihood of saving a lost tooth. You may have heard the recommendation of putting a knocked-out tooth in a glass of milk. But is that really true, and if so, why? Keep reading to find out!
What Is the Basic Anatomy of a Tooth?
Before explaining whether it’s beneficial to put a knocked-out tooth in a glass of milk, it’s important to understand some basic tooth anatomy first. Each tooth has two main parts: the crown and the root. The crown is the part of the tooth you see above the gumline.
Teeth are made of three layers:
- Enamel – This is the outer layer and it’s the hardest substance in the body – even harder than your bones. It’s mostly made of various minerals, including calcium.
- Dentin – This is the second layer of the tooth and is a bit softer than enamel.
- Pulp – This is the innermost layer of the tooth, which is the softest. It’s where the nerve of the tooth is, which extends through the through a nerve canal that runs through the root.
Should You Put A Knocked-Out Tooth in Milk?
What you’ve heard is true! It is helpful to put a tooth in a glass of milk until you can be seen. After you’ve done that, call an emergency dentist in Indianapolis as soon as possible. Time is critical and you’ll have a much better chance of saving the tooth if you can be seen within an hour!
It’s also critical to keep the tooth moist, and since cow’s milk contains calcium, it’s more beneficial to a tooth than other liquids such as water. If the root and nerve that runs through it dry out, it may be impossible to save the tooth.
Furthermore, milk, in particular, helps to maintain the correct fluid balance in the tooth, which will preserve it longer. Start by gently rinsing off the tooth, only touching it by the crown, and aim to put it in milk within five minutes.
Remember, when it comes to dental emergencies, acting fast and being prepared is your best defense!
About the Author
Dr. Mark Farthing is a general and restorative dentist who has decades of experience providing emergency dental care. He’s also a father and grandfather, so he knows from experience that accidents happen. He’s seen firsthand how helpful it can be to put a knocked-out tooth in a glass of milk and always recommends this simple measure to his patients. If you have any questions, he can be reached via his website or at (317) 898-3384.