Dental Care for Kids
Common Dental Trauma or Injuries
You may have learned that your child should see a dentist that accepts Medicaid at least twice a year for dental exams and a professional teeth cleaning. But how do you know when you should make an appointment for your child in between these visits? If your child is experiencing any tooth pain or discomfort, that’s the first reason to call our office. But, in addition to pain, there are other instances when you should make an appointment. Let’s review what those are.
Pain/Toothaches/Feelings of Pressure
There’s no need for your child to be in dental pain if we can help it. Pain is the way your body sends a very important message—there’s something that needs attention. The quicker a dentist can look in your child’s mouth, the quicker your child will have relief or a treatment plan, if necessary, can be determined. If you have any doubts about if your child needs to come see the dentist, please give our office a call and we can help you figure it out.
If your child’s gums are swollen, red or bleeding it could be a sign they have gingivitis which can lead to gum disease. Because gingivitis is caused by an accumulation of dental plaque; your dentist might suggest more frequent professional cleanings or help you learn how to help your child brush more effectively to prevent gum irritation. Regardless, it’s important to give the dentist a chance to see what’s going on with your child’s gums.
An extremely painful infection that happens at the root of a tooth is called a dental abscess. Signs of an abscess include a fever, swollen gums, a small pimple on the gums above the tooth and your child complaining of a bad taste in their mouth. This must be looked at immediately, otherwise the infection could spread.
When your child tells you their teeth hurt after having either cold or hot food or drinks, this temperature sensitivity could mean they may be getting a cavity. The only way to know for sure is to have the child visit a dentist to examine your child’s teeth.
Spots on Teeth
Chalky white spots or brown spots that appear on your child’s teeth is another sign they might be developing a cavity. Since tooth decay can progress quickly, don’t wait to have your dentist assess the situation.
Lost or Loose Fillings
If your child had a filling to treat a cavity and it falls off or becomes loose, they will likely experience sensitivity and discomfort. Our office will want to see your child as soon as possible so we can properly fill the cavity again.
When your child is between ages 6 and 12 losing baby teeth and having their adult (permanent) teeth break through their gums is common. However, if one of your child’s permanent teeth becomes wiggly for any reason (having a ball hit them in the mouth or even if it’s an unknown reason), it’s very important your child’s dentist examines it at the first opportunity.
Problems When Adult Teeth Break Through Gums
It is very common for some of a child’s baby teeth to not loosen on their own to make way for the adult teeth. In other cases, there might be an issue with the way the adult tooth erupted through the gums—extremely crooked or interfering with other teeth. This is another reason for you to make an appointment with your child’s dentist outside of their regular check-up/teeth cleaning appointment.
Broken or Fractured Teeth
One of the most common injuries for active children is a broken or fractured tooth. Be sure to collect all pieces of the broken tooth and cover any sharp edges with dental wax or sugarless chewing gum. Contact our office to schedule an appointment so we can determine the best way to restore your child’s healthy smile.
We encourage you to actively help your child, who is under seven, brush and floss daily and to supervise the brushing and flossing for children 7 and above. This helps you regularly look inside your child’s mouth to catch anything that’s concerning before pain develops. Your involvement in your child’s oral hygiene helps ensure that they are doing what they can to avoid cavities and other issues with proper dental care at home.