Everyone needs to see the dentist no matter their age, but for children, it’s especially important during their formative years. While many parents think that it’s convenient to let their kids just tag along with them when they see their dentist, it’s time to consider the importance of specialized oral care that a pediatric dentist can provide.
But when do you bring your kids to the dentist? Most parents know about the importance of taking their children to see the dentist periodically for a dental cleaning. However, there are telltale signs that kids need to see a dentist for immediate preventative care or treatment.
Here are the top signs that you need to book an appointment with a pediatric dentist as soon as possible to prevent the symptoms of cavities and decay from worsening:
While some kids experience a sharp, tingling sensation when eating cold foods, signs of tooth sensitivity shouldn’t be confused with a toothache. In some cases, it may be necessary to observe if the pain is persistent. Some parents may opt to have their kids brush their teeth and sleep, but if they still wake up with a toothache, it’s important to make an emergency appointment with a dentist. In most cases, a persistent toothache is a sign of either tooth decay or a chipped tooth — and both need immediate attention to prevent further damage.
Loose teeth accompanied by severe pain
Parents are all-too-familiar with signs of a primary tooth coming out. Kids gradually feel the tooth loosen and eventually, it falls out naturally, sometimes with a little discomfort. But in some cases, this loosening is accompanied by persistent and severe pain. When this happens, it’s important to call your pediatric dentist for an appointment right away.
Loose teeth accompanied by severe pain are often a sign of an infection that must be treated right away. Without proper and immediate treatment, the infection can quickly spread and cause severe tooth decay and other oral diseases, so make sure to see the dentist as soon as possible. This allows a pediatric dentist to assess the damage and administer the necessary treatment to prevent further discomfort.
Teeth changing colour
One of the more severe dental issues that require immediate treatment is indicated by a change in the colour of the teeth from a pearly white or mild yellow to gray or black. Simply put, graying or blackening teeth is a sure sign that teeth may be dying. On the off-chance that this isn’t the case, the change in colour may stem from genetics. Either way, both scenarios require immediate dental attention, so make sure to alert your child’s dentist to this problem right away.
Bleeding and swollen gums
Gums can quickly bleed with minor trauma like aggressive brushing or flossing, but excessive bleeding is a cause for concern. This is most likely due to inflammation, which is a sign of gum disease. When this happens, it’s essential to take your child to a pediatric dentist to treat the bleeding site and administer preventative treatment to maintain strong and healthy gums.
Swelling is another issue that requires urgent dental attention. While minor swelling is temporary and can resolve on its own, gums that are significantly swollen in a certain spot indicate the formation of an abscess. An abscess in the gums is an infection that results from tooth decay, so a dentist will need to treat both the decay and the swollen site to restore your child’s oral health.
Pediatric dentists advise routinely checking children’s gums for swelling. You can do this while watching them brush their teeth and observing their smile for any signs of discomfort, redness, or swelling.
For a lot of people, waking up with morning breath is perfectly normal, and a quick rinse or brushing the teeth is enough to restore fresh breath. However, this isn’t always the case.
Persistent, terribly bad breath is often a sign of a larger dental health concern. This usually indicates an infection or tooth decay, even when teeth appear otherwise clean, such as right after brushing. When you observe this in your child, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist right away to correct this problem and treat underlying issues.
The Importance of Prevention
The above signs may be cause for concern and if your child is experiencing any of them, you should definitely get them in to see their dentist as soon as possible. That said, these dental concerns are 100% preventable. The combination of good oral hygiene habits such as daily brushing and flossing and periodic dental exams/cleanings can go a long way in preventing these issues from developing in the first place. Plus, early prevention also helps to avoid the need for painful tooth extractions and extensive restorative procedures down the road. Your child will be able to smile confidently and enjoy all the lifestyle benefits of strong and healthy teeth.
To learn more about the telltale signs of cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease, call Treehouse Dental Care at 1-833-333-6623 or contact us here.