1. The tooth or tooth fragments should be collected and brought promptly to a dentist, who can usually glue on sheared-off chips and can sometimes even re-implant an entire tooth that has been knocked out of the jawbone.

2. The broken tooth must be properly transported and shouldn’t be cleaned with water or alcohol.

But it mustn’t be allowed to dry out either; otherwise it will be less stable in the mouth and become discolored with time.

3. If the tooth has come out with its root, it must be handled by the enamelled part only, because the root surface is covered with sensitive cells that help reattach the tooth and can die in three to five minutes in dry air.

4. Don not carry the broken tooth in a handkerchief is a bad idea as this dries the tooth out.

5. The tooth should be placed into a tooth-rescue container.

These little plastic vessels are available in pharmacies and contain a cell nutrient solution that preserves the tissue on the root surface.

This allows the tooth to be reimplanted in its socket, and the preserved cells can help it to become reattached, Oesterreich remarked.

The nearest pharmacy isn’t always right around the corner, though.

6. While it might seem logical that a broken tooth is best kept in its natural environment, namely the mouth, this isn’t true – on the way to the dentist it could be swallowed or inhaled

7. It’s better, though not ideal, to transport it in a plastic bag, plastic foil or UHT milk.

The milk is germ-free, but it should be cool and low-fat, Pohl advised, adding that the broken tooth could be transferred to a tooth-rescue container once one has been obtained.