A warm, glowing smile can be the greatest gift that you can give to another person. With that being said, some individuals are less than 100 percent happy with the state of their teeth, and that can put a damper on the desire to bear those pearly whites.

However, with regular trips to the dentist, and a proper regimen of brushing and flossing, it is possible to bring back that lovely smile. Unfortunately, a tooth or mouth injury can put all of that hard work at risk.

Related: Does My Child Need a Sports Guard for School This September? and What are the best snacks to send with my child to school?

It is a little known fact that 80 percent of tooth injuries occur on one or more of your front teeth. The same type of accident can also cause damage to your lips, tongue or cheeks. For children, this is most often when they are learning to walk, or at a later age when they are playing sports. No matter what the activity is that causes the injury, certain behaviours hold the potential for dental accidents, and there are ways to prevent these mishaps from occurring.

  • Helmets: Wearing a helmet may seem like overkill in some instances, but you are protecting your own or your child’s head from any serious potential injuries such as concussions. Though it won’t directly protect you from tooth and mouth injuries, it is still important for safety reasons.
  • Mouth Guards: Wearing a mouth guard is a great way to protect your own or your child’s teeth from injuries when playing very physical or contact sports.
  • Face Cages: Protecting your own or you child’s teeth, mouth, and face from potential trauma that occurs more frequently in sports such as football, hockey, and rugby is essential. Therefore, using a face cage is a smart way to protect yourself while still being able to enjoy the sports we love to play.

Although these measures certainly help to mitigate the risks, preventive measures only go so far. If you have taken steps to protect yourself but still get a tooth or mouth injury, there are ways to address the situation so that your smile is as beautiful as before. These fixes can also ensure that chewing, biting food, and swallowing, are still possible post-accident.

  • Get a Stand-In: If your actual tooth cannot be replaced, don’t despair. Your dentist can insert an artificial tooth (dental implant) right into your jawbone. It mimics the look and actions of your original tooth, allowing you to chew, bite – and smile.
  • Repair Knocked-Out Teeth: Even if you do wear a helmet, mouth guard, and face cage, injuries like knocked-out teeth can still happen. With dental technology, there is a good chance that your dentist can replace any missing teeth. Immediately after the incident happens, you need to wash any debris gently from the root, and hold the tooth under your tongue while you get yourself or your child to your dentist. If that is not possible, soak the tooth in milk while you’re on your way. The quicker you get to your dentist, the better your chances are for a successful replacement.

As terrible and frightening as the prospect may seem, dental injuries do not have to be permanent. Ask Dr. Jason Harvey about other specific measures that you can take to repair damaged teeth. If you or your children do suffer a tooth or mouth injury, be assured that there are techniques to get that perfect smile back.