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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: November 2, 2011


Whether you are enjoying sports or get caught in the crossfire of a neighborhood pumpkin chucking, you could lose a tooth. To avoid looking like a jack-o-lantern, the Division of Public Health's Oral Health program advises taking prompt, proper action to save your smile.

"Having a tooth knocked out of the mouth is not uncommon," said Dr. Greg McClure, DPH dental director. "Preventing this from happening is best, of course, which can be done easily by wearing a mouth guard when participating in sports. However, accidents do happen, and knowing what to do and how much time you have to act can help to save a tooth."

Our teeth are connected to our gums by ligaments. When a permanent front tooth is lost due to an accident or other trauma, these ligaments are broken and will eventually die if not connected to nourishment from our blood supply. If we act quickly, it is often possible to save the ligaments and replant the tooth so that it can continue to be functional.

Follow these steps:

Knowing these tips means having some control over the situation. Fast action can reduce damage, be easier and less expensive to correct, and can make a lifetime of difference. A natural smile is worth saving.

For more information about dental health in Delaware, go to

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.