It’s not uncommon for people to knock out a tooth when they are in an accident or fall. If you replace your tooth within 30 minutes, there is an 85% survival rate. Knowing how to perform first aid for a knocked out tooth can potentially save the tooth in a dental emergency.  

In case of a knocked-out tooth, proceed with these first aid steps to recover the tooth to have it re-implanted by your dentist.  


Performing First Aid for a Knocked Out Tooth

When you have a tooth knocked out, there may be physical trauma. If there is an open wound, wash it with clean, running water. Then, apply sterile gauze or cotton wool and pressure to the wound for five minutes to stop the bleeding. Then, follow the four following steps to save the knocked out tooth

When your child has a baby tooth knocked out, apply gauze to stem the blood flow and disregard the following steps. A dentist typically won’t reattach primary teeth because this can cause problems with the permanent teeth when they grow in. However, you should still seek emergency dental care so your dentist can take X-rays to ensure that no damage to their permanent teeth has occurred. 


4 Steps to Save a Knocked Out Tooth 

When you have a tooth knocked out, you need to act quickly to increase your chances of successful reattachment. After performing first aid for a knocked out tooth, you need to: 



  • Find the tooth 

The first step for saving a knocked-out tooth is finding the tooth. Once you have found it, you need to care for it properly to increase the chances your dentist can save the tooth. If the tooth has been knocked out in pieces, collect as many fragments as possible to show your dentist.


  • Rinse it carefully 

Hold your tooth by the crown, not the root, and rinse it with tap water. Rinsing helps remove loose debris. Be gentle so that you don’t cause further damage to the tooth root. If it is dirty, you can also gently brush it off with a toothbrush. 

Don’t scrub the tooth or use cleaning products like toothpaste or soap. Don’t dry the tooth off after rinsing. Any of these actions can further damage a knocked out tooth, preventing reattachment. 


  • Store it safely

Check the tooth moist to prevent the root from drying out.  You can put it in saline, milk, or back in your mouth while transporting it to the dentist. To make a saline solution combine ½ teaspoon of table salt with 1 cup of warm water, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Wait until the saline has cooled to store your tooth. 

If you are an adult, you can hold the tooth between your cheek and gum, but be careful not to swallow it. When returning the knocked-out tooth to the socket, place it in the socket gently and bite down on gauze or a moistened tea bag. 


  • Call your dentist 

When you have a knocked out tooth, call your dentist and tell them you have a dental emergency. Your dentist may be able to reattach the tooth successfully if you arrive within 30 minutes and prevent the tooth root from drying out. 

If they cannot save the tooth, they will recommend a tooth replacement option, such as a dental implant or dental bridge, to restore your smile. Check here


Emergency Dental Care in Victoria 

If you find yourself with a knocked out tooth or another dental emergency in Victoria, Maroondah Dental Care is just a phone call away at 03 9007 2532. We can assess the damage and decide on the best course of treatment.



Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.




Oral Health Topics

First Aid for a Knocked Out Permanent Tooth 

Knocked Out Teeth