Posted on 12/25/2018 by Dr Jonathan Ford
|If you've ever lost a tooth, the first thing that your parents, coaches, or peers cried out was that you needed to get that in milk immediately. Is that a folktale or proper medical advice? Why should you put lost teeth in milk?
One of the best reasons to put your avulsed (meaning that it has fully come out) tooth in milk is to keep it in a sterile environment. The probiotic nature of milk ensures that most harmful bacterial won't be able to grow on the tooth during transit, and it keeps the tooth floating away from other potential contaminants, whether ambient in the air or transferred by other sources. If you have to carry the tooth outside of your mouth, it should be someplace where it won't get infected en-route.
Outside of your mouth, a glass of milk is the best environment to keep teeth stable. Remember that your teeth are not like hair or nails, they are alive and need to be kept that way! The calcium and vitamin rich environment will ensure that the tooth is protected and able to stay thriving while awaiting to be implanted back into your mouth.
Furthermore, the milk is neutral and will keep the sensitive roots and nerves, which are not supposed to be exposed to the elements, in an environment that is not hostile to them. Just because you can't feel them screaming in pain right now doesn't mean that they aren't sending out twinges and aches every time they're jostled unnecessarily, or a cold chilly wind blows over them.
In conclusion, it is not a myth, but solid advice to keep avulsed teeth in milk. It does a body good, and it does your teeth good, too! If you have any questions or would like to know more about tooth avulsion (including what else to do if it happens to you!), give us a call and we will happily address those queries for you.
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