It’s a fact that everyone needs to see a dentist at some point in their lives. A child should be taken to the dentist as soon as their first tooth comes in. As a parent, your goal is to make sure your child gets the best dental care starting at a young age. So, let’s look at five signs that will alert you as to when you should take your preschooler to the dentist.
1. Teeth Look Abnormal
Your child might not tell you they had an accident for fear of you not letting them play or go outside Pay close attention to the appearance of your child’s teeth. Take notice of any broken, cracked, or chipped teeth. An x-ray can reveal if there is any serious damage done to the teeth or gums.
Falls and trauma to the mouth are also reasons to take your child to the dentist. Trauma can impact the growth and stability of immature and permanent teeth. Look out for swollen gums, which also indicates the need to see a dentist.
2. Sensitivity to Food and Drinks
If your child’s appetite changes, it could be due to tooth sensitivity. If eating hot or cold foods causes your child discomfort or makes them cry, it’s time to schedule a dental visit. Sensitivity to cold and hot drinks is also a sign of potential dental concern. Even chewing certain foods can be painful for your child. X-rays can tell the dentist a lot about the oral health of your child’s teeth and gums.
Sensitivity could indicate cavities as well. Tooth caries or decayed teeth are painful and sensitive to foods and drinks. The dentist will discuss safe alternatives to repair the damage done to your child’s teeth.
3. Swollen Face or Gums
A swollen face or gums usually indicate a serious problem like an abscess. An abscess is a collection of puss and bacteria that can cause problems. Your child is going to need some antibiotics to get through the rough patch. Do not delay in getting your child the proper dental care. Swelling is a sign of some type of trauma to the affected area.
For example, a fall that impacts the teeth and gums can result in an abscess. Because of the collection of puss that accumulates in the gums, it can be fatal if the abscess is not treated. It will not go away on its own, as medical intervention is needed as soon as possible. Be sure to get this treated right away because kids with less-than-ideal oral health are three times more likely to miss school due to dental pain.
4. Sucking or Biting Their Thumb
With over 1.5 million children enrolled in preschool last year, your child is around many other kids in their preschool classroom. This could lead to your child mimicking other children’s poor habits, such as sucking or biting on their thumb. This can be a bad habit that can impact the development of their teeth. Without dental intervention, your child could experience a misalignment or an overbite. This could lead to your child needing braces. While 3.9 million children are orthodontic patients in the U.S. each year, you want to avoid paying for expensive braces if you can!
Thumb sucking is a habit that many children may develop as babies. To them, it is their pacifier or comfort. But it can be devastating for the parents when the child’s teeth are not as straight or aligned as they should be.
Book a dental visit if you notice any of the signs above. Your child’s dental health will thank you when you seek pediatric care sooner rather than later!