Your child's mouth is in a near constant state of change from soon after birth until all of their adult teeth have erupted, so it's vital they see their dentist for regular check-ups. However, if you suspect your child has developed an oral health problem between dental appointments, you shouldn't wait until their next dental check-up to raise your concerns. Children's tooth enamel is softer than that of adults, so decay and bacteria can cause significant damage in a short space of time. Here are a few common signs your child needs to visit the dentist.
White Or Brown Spots On Teeth
White spots on one of your child's teeth can be an early sign of a cavity developing. As decay worsens and completely erodes the enamel, white spots become brown. Catching and treating decay quickly can save your child unnecessary pain and discomfort and reduce the damage done to their tooth. Unfortunately, when severe decay is present it is often necessary to extract the damaged tooth, which can alter the alignment of your child's remaining teeth.
If your child's gums look red or swollen, or if they complain of sore gums after brushing their teeth, your child may be developing gingivitis. This is a form of gum disease that's often caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or the build-up of plaque along the gum line. When caught early, a dental cleaning may be all that's required to get your child's mouth back to good health. However, without treatment decay and bacterial infection can occur, which can lead to tooth loss.
If your child complains of tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods there can be a few causes. Your child may have a cavity or receding gums, or they may have a hairline crack on the enamel of one of their teeth. Cracks are quite common in young children who fall over and bump into things as they develop their gross and fine motor skills. Tooth sensitivity often means their soft tooth pulp or root is experiencing irritation, and if bacteria enter the soft pulp, an infection can take hold. Tooth infections are painful and treatment can be unpleasant for children, so don't ignore tooth sensitivity.
It's not normal for children to experience tooth pain or discomfort, or for them to have swelling in the soft tissues of their mouth, so if something seems not quite right to you, book them in with their dentist for a check-up.