Unlike children who get excited about losing their teeth, adults don’t have the same reaction. A loose tooth as an adult doesn’t mean another one will erupt in its place should it fall out. Instead, this unexpected occurrence often results in seeking immediate dental treatment to discuss how to treat the problem area or replace it if it needs to be extracted. If you are facing a similar situation, learn what you need to do while waiting to see your dentist for help.
Should I Go to the ER or an Emergency Dentist?
When dealing with a loose tooth, you may be tempted to head to the ER for immediate help. Unfortunately, this trip can cost you valuable time and money. Not only will the long wait in the lobby be tiresome, but the treatment you’ll receive won’t address the next steps you’ll need to take to safeguard your oral health.
Instead, call your local dentist’s office and alert a team member to the situation. After learning about the problem, they can schedule an appointment for you to come in and be treated as quickly as possible.
Steps to Take While at Home
While you are waiting at home, there are helpful tips to remember that will prevent further harm to your smile and keep any pain or discomfort to a minimum. These include:
- Not touching the loose tooth – It’s tempting, we know, but if you want to keep it in place until you see your dentist, it’s best to avoid touching or playing with it.
- Avoiding hard, sticky foods – No one is saying you cannot eat if you have a loose tooth. The only thing your dentist may suggest as it pertains to consuming food is to avoid those that are sticky or hard. If you bite down on these items, it can place pressure onto the area and cause more damage to your tooth and soft tissues.
- Not brushing or flossing your teeth – This might seem incorrect, but the truth is that you want your tooth to stay attached to the socket as much as possible. By avoiding these common oral habits and instead, swishing warm water around in your mouth, you can eliminate harmful bacteria and food particles while keeping your smile safe.
- Listening closely to your dentist when discussing treatment options – Your dentist wants you to be part of the decision-making process as it pertains to a loose tooth, but it is important to remember they are trained to identify and recommend the best course of action for the future of your oral health. Listen closely to their suggestion(s) but don’t hesitate to ask for clarification or further explanation. A splint can help reattach to a tooth until the root fully heals, but if it appears too damaged, an extraction might be the only way to prevent further damage.
It’s no surprise that a loose tooth can cause many people to panic, but if you pay attention to the details provided to you by your dental team, you can take better care of your smile until it’s time to see your dentist for a more permanent treatment.
About the Author
Dr. Mariliza LaCap has more than two decades working in the oral healthcare field. Completing her Aesthetic Advantage Certification at New York University, she went on to receive her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery, graduating in the top 10% of her class. At Washington Dental Associates, she and her colleagues offer available services designed to repair loose teeth and restore smiles affected by missing teeth. If you need help to care for adult teeth that are loose at home, contact us at (201) 453-4863.