Should you have an injury where a tooth is knocked out remember to pick it up by the crown only and attempt to reinsert it. If it is dirty you may lightly rinse it in water first, but do not scrub or dry it. If the tooth will not go back in the socket, put the tooth into a glass of milk or into your mouth immediately before rushing to the dentist. Only hold the tooth in your mouth long enough to get it into milk as there is a danger of inhaling the tooth. In as little as 15 minutes the tooth can begin to die, but there are proteins, antibacterial substances, and sugars in saliva and milk that can protect the tooth cells. Your dentist has a better chance of saving your natural tooth if you remember to take this step.