If your child is injured in any way, it may be your usual response to take them to the emergency room at the closest hospital. If it is an injury that constitutes a dental emergency, though, it is usually best to call your family dentist before seeking other treatment.
Playing sport can hold the threat of an injury to your child's mouth
If your child is involved in a full contact sport like rugby, or boxing, you will be aware that injury to the mouth may be a threat, due to a blow to the face. There are other sports that also hold this threat: for example, it is possible to be hit with a hockey stick, or a cricket ball. Even in an individual sport like long distance running, where these injuries are unlikely, your child may fall and hit their mouth on an object.
Understanding what mouth injuries are a dental emergency
It is only a fairly severe injury that can be described as a dental emergency. If your child's tooth is chipped, this is not an emergency and can be attended to by your family dentist the next day. If, however, the tooth is knocked out, then it will be necessary to phone your dentist immediately to find out what to do.
Dental emergencies do not only refer to injuries where the teeth and gums are involved. If your child's mouth or tongue is cut at all, this may be an emergency and you should phone your dentist. The same procedure should be followed if your child has an injury to the jaw. Your family dentist may refer you to a specialist, but any severe injury to the mouth can be regarded initially as a dental emergency.
Taking precautions against dental emergencies when playing sport
The most obvious way of avoiding injuries to the mouth and teeth is to make sure that your child always wears a gumguard while playing any form of contact sport and making sure that they follow the rules.
One of the ways to help to ensure that, even if your child is hit in the mouth, a tooth won't necessarily be lost is to make sure that your child's teeth are in good condition. This begins with regular visits to the family dentist. It is also necessary for your child to follow the dentist's advice for regular oral care to make sure that the teeth remain strong and healthy.