by Dr. Yvette Porter
As a parent, do you know exactly when to take your child to the dentist? Any ignorance or negligence when it comes to your child’s dental health will lead to serious dental issues. But if you know when your kids need immediate dental care, dental issues can be prevented from becoming worse.
Take Your Child to the Dentist ASAP When They Feel Any of These 7 Signs:
An obvious sign of any dental problem is a toothache. When your child experiences an unbearable toothache, take them to a reputable dentist immediately. This can be caused by tooth decay, chewing hard food, cavity build-up, and other reasons.
Ignoring this will make it more severe and even take a longer time to treat.
2. Decays and Cavities
During the start of a cavity build-up, your child might not feel any pain at all. They will only feel severe pain once the tooth is decayed and the cavity has worsened. So keep an eye on your child’s teeth. Regularly look for blackish-brown spots or holes in their teeth.
Regular dental check-ups, teeth scaling and cleaning can also help protect their teeth from decay and cavities.
3. Early Tooth Loss
Milk or baby teeth will start to fall at a certain age. After that, the permanent teeth erupt. But when your child’s milk teeth fall early, this can affect the position of the nearby teeth. As a result, the adult teeth may find it too challenging to grow in the right direction, leading to misaligned teeth.
So when your child’s baby teeth start to fall early or before they turn four years old, you must bring them to the dentist to figure out if there is a serious reason behind the incident.
4. Swollen Gums
Gum disease is a result of improper oral care, leading to your child’s gums becoming swollen and even bleeding. Plaque accumulation may also result in painful and swollen gums, making it too difficult for your child to eat.
This will eventually hinder the process of proper brushing and flossing. So as soon as your child complains about swollen, bleeding or painful gums, bring them to the dentist right away.
5. Knocked-out Tooth
When the permanent tooth of your child is accidentally knocked out, you must find it immediately. Handle it by the crown instead of the root, and make sure to clean it with warm water. When your child is old enough, you can reinsert the tooth back to the socket and let them bite down on a piece of gauze.
If not, just place the tooth in a cup of milk. Immediately go to the dentist to increase the chances of saving the tooth. Let the dental professional permanently reinstall the tooth in your child’s mouth.
But when the knocked out tooth is a baby tooth, don’t reinstall it. This will prevent any damage to the permanent tooth that will erupt soon. Still, you must visit the dentist immediately for examination to ensure that there are no tooth fragments left in the gum tissue.
6. Fractured or Chipped Tooth
When your child’s tooth is fractured or chipped, rinse their mouth with warm water. After that, prevent swelling by applying a cold compress to the affected area.
Whenever possible, find the fragment, place it in a cup of milk, and bring it with you to the dentist. Remember that immediate care is crucial to minimize the risk of serious dental issues and infection.
7. Bitten or Cut Lip, Tongue or Cheek
When your child bites or cuts their lip, tongue or cheek, apply ice and firm yet gentle pressure with gauze on the area. This will prevent swelling and stop bleeding. If bleeding doesn’t stop after 15 minutes, you must bring your child to the dentist immediately.
How to Avoid a Dental Emergency
There are several precautions to avoid injury or accident to your child’s teeth. These include:
- Instructing your child not to use their teeth to cut things – use scissors instead.
- Having your child wear custom mouthguards or a helmet when participating in recreational activities or contact sports.
- Reducing trip hazards at home.
- Using gates to block dangerous areas from young kids like stairways.
- Supervising your child at all times and not letting them run if there are objects in their mouth such as a toothbrush.
- Visiting the dentist at least twice a year to ensure oral health and dental hygiene.
Knowing when to bring your child to a dentist to prevent dental problems from advancing further is crucial. But being aware of how to prevent dental issues from arising is just as important. So don’t hesitate to ask a dentist online!
Dr. Yvette Porter is the founding dentist at Apple Dental in Newstead, Brisbane, which she started over 11 years ago, and continues to own and practice there today. She works with a team of female dentists who aim to provide gentle, and affordable dental care to patients in Brisbane. Dr. Porter is a member of the Australian Dental Association and is passionate about family, and children’s dentistry, hoping to make their dental experience truly pleasant.