Dental hygiene is an important part of your child’s health and it affects more than just their teeth. According to the CDC, poor oral health in childhood is also associated with poor performance in school and can lead to issues with eating and speaking. While up to 20% of children under the age of five have cavities or tooth decay, there are ways that you can preserve the health of your child’s teeth. Recognizing the signs that you should see a pediatric dentist is one way that you can prevent dental issues for your child.

You might be thinking, what is a pediatric dentist and why does my child need one? Pediatric dentists offer services specifically for the unique needs of children in a friendly and comfortable environment. 

Keep reading to learn six signs that it’s time to take your little one to a pediatric dentist. 

1. They Are Experiencing Tooth Pain

One of the most telltale signs that your child needs to see a pediatric dentist is if they are complaining about a toothache. While there are several reasons for tooth pain, it is difficult to know without a professional check-up.

A pediatric dentist can help get to the source of the pain and prevent the problem from escalating. Toothaches and pains can be a sign of something more serious. Left untreated, a simple toothache can create more serious oral issues.

If your child is in severe pain, you might want to see an emergency pediatric dentist. Your child might have an infection, an injury, or tooth decay. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

2. They Are Complaining About Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity is also a common sign that it’s time to make an appointment with the dentist. While it is difficult to gauge tooth sensitivity because you cannot see it, you might want to stay attentive during mealtime.

Your child is likely to have a sensitivity if you notice they complain when you give them certain foods. These are generally hot and cold foods like ice cream or soup.

A sensitive tooth could mean that your child has a cavity. Getting your child examined by a pediatric dentist is important to tackle the cavity straight away.

3. They Have Bleeding or Swollen Gums

Bleeding or swollen gums are both dental issues that need attention.

If your child’s gums are bleeding, this could be an indication that they are inflamed. This type of inflammation puts your child at risk of periodontal disease in the future.

Additionally, a buildup of plaque can lead to swollen gums that can cause gingivitis and tooth loss.

While certain dental issues are difficult to see, like pain or sensitivity, bleeding gums are a clear and visible sign that your little one needs a pediatric dentist examination.

4. They Have Stains or Spots on Their Teeth

Another sign of a possible problem with your child’s teeth is if they are discolored, stained, or spotted.

Discoloration of the teeth is common with improper brushing. The teeth can look yellow or stained without the right care and brushing routine. A gray or black tooth is a serious sign of tooth decay and getting dental intervention is crucial for your child.

Likewise, white spots on the teeth can be caused by too much fluoride, but they could also be signs of cavities and should be treated promptly. This can be a sign that there is damage to the enamel and a visit to the dentist can help stop this process.

5. They Have Bad Breath

Your child might have bad breath occasionally if they eat pungent food or if they have a dry mouth. This might not be a sign of concern. However, if you notice persistent bad breath, it might mean there is something more serious.

Certain foods can cause bad breath, but it is much more common in adults. If your child is brushing regularly, staying hydrated, and still has bad breath after meals, it is a good indicator that you should make an appointment with the dentist. This might be an early sign of gum disease, gingivitis, or cavities.

Don’t hesitate to make an appointment and get to the source of the problem.

6. They Have Not Had Their First Visit

By the time your little one reaches one year of age, they should have already had a visit with a dentist. Don’t delay the first visit or wait for a sign of a dental issue to make an appointment.

It is recommended that you take your child to the dentist within the first six months of when their first tooth sprouts.

Specialists in pediatric dentistry are well-trained and experienced with infants and toddlers. The best pediatric dentist can instill in your child good dental hygiene habits from a young age and help you take preventative measures to avoid problems in the future. This will also give your child a healthy attitude toward dentist visits.

Recognizing the Signs That It’s Time to See a Pediatric Dentist

Caring for your child’s teeth can be challenging, but it is imperative for their overall health. Knowing when it’s time to see a pediatric dentist will help prevent oral issues for your child in the future. Be sure to make an appointment if your child has a toothache, tooth sensitivity, bleeding gums, bad breath, stained teeth, or they haven’t seen the dentist yet.

Visit our website and make an appointment with us at Suwanee Pediatric Dentistry today and give your child the healthy smile they deserve!