Most children should see the dentist twice per year for regular checkups and cleaning appointments. This ensures that most dental problems are detected early when they are easy to manage and treat. However, there may still be some dental problems that emerge between appointments. Here are four signs your child needs to see the dentist before it becomes time for their next regular checkup.
If your child complains about a toothache or pain in a tooth, do not put off seeing the dentist. Toothaches are often due to an abscess, which is an infection of the tooth root and gum. A dental abscess can spread and infect other tissues, sometimes including the brain and blood, so you need to have it treated promptly. Depending on the extent of the abscess, the dentist may need to pull your child's tooth or perform a root canal treatment.
2. Loose Teeth
Loose baby teeth are completely normal. However, if your child has an adult tooth that feels loose, he or she needs to see the dentist. A loose feeling could indicate that the periodontal ligament, which is meant to anchor the tooth into the jaw bone, did not form properly. Your child may also have been hit in the mouth while playing sports or participating in other activities, knocking the tooth partially loose.
3. Spots on the Teeth
Cavities do not always cause spots to appear on the teeth. However, most spots on the teeth are cavities. By the time they cause a visible spot, cavities are pretty serious. A big cavity could threaten the stability of the entire tooth, so take your child to the dentist to have the cavity diagnosed and filled before it gets any worse.
4. Cold Sensitivity
If your child stops drinking cold drinks or eating Popsicles because they hurt his or her teeth, this is not a good sign. Tooth sensitivity can indicate the presence of a cavity. It could also mean that your child is beginning to develop gum disease. In either case, it's important to see the dentist for treatment. In the meantime, you can have your child begin using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, which should reduce the sensitivity somewhat.
Not every dental problem is serious or an emergency, but you are always better off being proactive. Reassure your child that everything will be okay, and get them the treatment they need at a family dental office. For more information, contact your local family dentist.Share