While good brushing and flossing habits can help keep your child’s smile clean and healthy, they do not replace the need for regular teeth cleanings and dentist appointments. Tooth decay and other dental problems can take place at an early age, so staying on top of your child’s dental health is incredibly important. Last year we commemorated National Children’s Dental Health Month by sharing some of our favorite dental care tips. This year we’re sharing some of the signs to look for that may indicate your child needs to see a dentist.
1. Teeth begin to surface
Many parents are not aware of the fact that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should typically have their first dentist within six months after the baby’s first tooth appears, but no later than the child’s first birthday. Before problems have a chance to occur, it’s a good idea to make a dentist appointment when you first see your child’s teeth surface.
2. Complaints of pain
If your child complains of tooth pain, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a dentist sooner rather than later. Unlike other causes of pain, toothaches are unlikely to subside on their own. Tooth pain can be caused by a variety of factors including decay or a breaking of the tooth itself, both of which require professional attention. Some children may complain of pain associated with loose or wiggly teeth. While some parents may not be too concerned about pain accompanying loose baby teeth, it’s not normal for loose baby teeth to be painful. If your child complains of pain around their loose tooth, it may be indicative of an infection that would require a visit to the dentist.
3. Issues with gum health
While it’s not unusual for gum to occasionally bleed while flossing, persistent bleeding is not normal and should be addressed by a dentist. Bleeding often occurs when the gums are inflamed or infected, so if you notice your child’s gums bleeding, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment at Ashley Dental Associates. Other problems, such as swollen gums, also are signs that your child needs to see a dentist.
4. Change in tooth color
If a tooth changes into a gray or blue color, it may indicate that the tooth has died. According to the American Dental Association, teeth are composed of living pulp and nerves. When trauma or damage occurs, the pulp and nerves can die, resulting in the tooth changing color. If you notice a color change in one or more of your child’s teeth, set up an appointment with your dentist to determine the cause and possible treatments.
5. Bad breath
If your child has bad breath despite the fact that they have a clean mouth, or have just brushed their teeth, it could mean that they have an infection or another underlying dental problem. In order to get to the root of the issue, and to resolve the problem, schedule an appointment for your child to see a dentist.
6. It’s been six months since their last appointment
Sometimes, the passing of time is a sign that your child needs to see a dentist. Ideally, your child should visit the dentist once every six months. While this may seem like a lot, it’s important for your child to regularly see a dentist as their teeth develop. Getting your child accustomed to a regular dentist visit schedule can help promote good dental habits for life. At the end of the day, prevention is always the best medicine, especially when it comes to oral health.
If you have questions about your child’s dental health, or about the signs that your child needs to see a dentist, contact us online or call us at (843) 767-2600. Our team at Ashley Dental can help establish a cleaning schedule for you and your family to help keep you on track.