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Tips to Prevent Tooth and Mouth Injuries

Injuries to the teeth and mouth are common. Approximately 80% of dental injuries affect one or more of the front teeth and may cause damage to soft tissues – the tongue, lips, and inner cheeks.

In the very young child, injuries to baby teeth usually result from learning to walk.  There may also be damage to the unerupted permanent teeth.  Sports injuries are the main source of tooth and mouth injuries in older adolescents and adults. Up to 40% of dental injuries in older adolescents and adults occur while playing sports.

Tips to Prevent Sports-Related Tooth and Mouth Injuries

  • Mouth Guards: When playing sports, the best way to protect your teeth and mouth is by wearing a mouth guard.
  • Face cages: This equipment protects against trauma to the face, especially when playing certain sports positions, like baseball catcher or hockey goalie.
  • Helmets: It's always wise to wear a helmet made for the activity that you are participating in. Although most helmets won't protect the teeth and mouth, they will protect another important area – your head, to help protect against a brain concussion.

 

Can Knocked-Out Teeth Be Repaired?

Yes, knocked-out teeth can be repaired, and the sooner you can get to your dentist's office, the better. Knocked-out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within one hour of being knocked out. If a tooth has been knocked out, gently rinse any debris from the root and attempt to place it back into the socket. If that’s not possible, hold it in the mouth on the way to the dentist. If all else fails, keep the tooth in milk until you get to the dentist's office.

Even if your tooth can't be saved, you haven't necessarily lost your smile. Due to advances in dentistry, a dental implant -- a freestanding artificial tooth – can now be anchored directly onto your jawbone, and with a porcelain crown attached, to aid in biting, chewing, and for esthetic reasons.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Elverne M Tonn, DDS on August 13, 2012
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How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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