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Here’s the Scientific Reason Marla Put Her Tooth in Milk After She Was Almost Killed in ‘I Care A Lot’

Those who saw I Care A Lot‘s tooth in milk scene may want to know why Marla put her tooth in a jug of milk and if the beverage can save a person’s loose teeth in real life.

I Care A Lot, which premiered on Netflix on Friday, February 19, follows Marla Grayson, a con woman who makes a living by persuading a judge to appoint her as a guardian over elders living on their own. Marla does this by presenting the judge with a note from the elders’ doctor, whom she’s in cahoots with, which convinces the court that the elders can’t take care of themselves. After that, Marla moves the elders to an assisted living facility, takes away their cell phone and cuts them off from their family and the outside world. Then, with control over their lives and estate, Marla sells their belongings for her own profit.

In the movie, Marla cons a woman named Jennifer Peterson. However, little does she know that Jennifer’s son, Roman Lunyov, is a former Russian mafia boss, who kidnaps Marla until she relinquishes her control of Jennifer. When Marla refuses to do so, Roman tries to kill Marla by sending her car into a lake to make it look like she died in a drunk accident. Marla escapes and makes her way back to the surface. However, once she reaches land, she realizes that one of her teeth has come loose. Marla then goes to a convenience store where she buys a jug of milk to put her tooth in. Once she returns home, Marla sees her dentist, who takes the tooth out of the milk to reconnect it in her mouth.

I Care A Lot‘s tooth in milk scene is making a lot of viewers wonder if milk can really save a loose tooth or if the plot point was completely fictional. Well, it looks like the milk in tooth scene was based on some facts, though it’s unlikely that Marla would be able to successfully reattach her tooth if she lost in real life.

According to the American Association of Endodontists, people have about 30 minutes from when their teeth fall out to successfully reattach it. What you want to do is to pick up your tooth by the crown (a.k.a. the chewing surface) and not the root. If it’s dirty, which Marla’s likely was because she was in a lake, you will want to gently rinse the tooth with water but no soap or chemicals. Don’t scrub the tooth and don’t wrap in a tissue or a cloth either. After that, try putting the tooth back in its original socket by gently pushing it down with your fingers, closing your mouth slowly and softly biting on it. That will keep the tooth moist for reconnection.

If you can’t put the tooth back in your mouth, that’s where the tooth in milk tip comes in. To keep the tooth moist until a dentist reattaches it, the association recommends putting the tooth in milk. Whatever you do, don’t put the tooth in regular tap water, as the root surface cells can’t tolerate being submerged in tap water for that long. The association also states that the best window for reapplication is within 30 minutes of the injury. However, they do note that there is a chance of reconnection if the tooth has been out of the mouth for more than an hour, which seemed to be Marla’s case.

I Care A Lot is available to stream on Netflix.

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