When to Take Your Child to See a Dentist
Children, like adults, should see a dentist regularly, even if they still haven't grown their adult teeth. A dentist can monitor the health of their mouth and the growth of their teeth and ensure adult teeth are coming in when expected. However, there are times when you want to take your child to a family dentist even if it's not their scheduled appointment, as they may have problems with their mouth or teeth that shouldn't wait to be treated. Note a few signs that it's time to take your child to a dentist and why it's so important.
They rub one side of their face
Rubbing one side of your face is a good way to numb dental pain on that side of the mouth; your child may do this involuntarily as they feel a dull, throbbing pain from an abscessed tooth or cavity. Their jaw may also be out of alignment so that teeth are not getting full support; in turn, the muscles on that side of the face ache from being overworked. If you notice your child always rubbing one side of their face, especially along the jaw line or near the hinge of the jaw, a dentist might need to examine that side of the mouth for these issues.
They're suddenly sensitive to hot or cold foods
If your child suddenly doesn't enjoy ice cream or a cold soda as they once did, or they seem to be uncomfortable eating warm soup and other such foods, they may have developing cavities. This might also be a sign that the enamel of their teeth has eroded. In these cases, nerves can be exposed, and these nerves are very sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks. Your child may not know how to tell you that their mouth is bothered by these extreme temperatures, so if you notice a change in their eating or how well they enjoy these foods, don't assume they're too young to have cavities or enamel erosion but have them checked by a dentist.
They don't like to brush their teeth
Children can avoid brushing their teeth simply because they don't understand the value of good oral hygiene, but if your child seems to hesitate to brush or to brush on one side of the mouth, this can be because they're in pain. They may have a cavity or damage to the gums that make them sensitive to a toothbrush. Don't just assume a child is being rebellious when they say they don't want to brush, but instead have their mouth examined by a dentist.