8 Signs To Book Your Child In For A Checkup

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<h1> 8 signs you should book your child in for a check-up </h1>

If you’re a first-time parent, you might be wondering when to take your little one for their first trip to the dentist or when a toothache could be something more serious. After all, most people don’t remember their first dentist appointment!

However, it’s important to know the signs and book an appointment when you notice changes in your child’s teeth or your child is experiencing pain, discomfort or swollen/bleeding gums. In this article, we share eight signs that your little one needs to go to the dentist so you know what to do and when to act.

#1. Toothaches

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Most people experience a little tooth sensitivity every now and then — however, this shouldn’t be confused with a toothache. If your child is experiencing persistent pain over a long period of time or even waking up in the middle of the night with a sore tooth, it could be a sign of tooth decay or a chipped tooth. We recommend booking your child in for a checkup as soon as possible to prevent further damage or decay.

#2. Loose teeth with pain

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Your child’s baby teeth (or primary teeth) usually start to loosen and fall out to make room for adult teeth at around six years old. The signs are obvious — kids generally start to feel “wobbly teeth” that get even wobblier over time until eventually, they fall out naturally. However, if your child is experiencing severe pain when wiggling their teeth, it could be a sign of infection that needs to be treated as soon as possible.

If the infection is left untreated, it can spread and cause further tooth decay. A dentist will be able to assess the damage and provide the proper treatment to prevent further decay and discomfort.

If your child is over 12-years-old and has loose adult teeth, we recommend calling an emergency dentist to address and fix the problem quickly.

#3. Teeth changing colour

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A change in the colour of your child’s teeth can be concerning. Mild yellowing is reasonably normal although not ideal. However, if your child’s tooth or teeth are turning grey, it could be a sign that the teeth are dying. It’s imperative to book an appointment with your dentist to address this as soon as possible.

Your child might also have white or brown spots on their teeth. White spots can be a sign of tooth decay from improper or delayed dental care, or if your child is still an infant, the white spots could be a calcium build-up from bottle-feeding or breastfeeding. Brown spots are a sign of enamel hypoplasia from a lack of calcium.

A pediatric dentist can diagnose the cause of the spots and remove the discolouration.

#4. Bleeding and/or swollen gums

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For kids, bleeding gums can be frightening. Bleeding, sore, swollen, or tender gums are early warning signs of gum disease — this is caused by a buildup of plaque that causes bacteria to flourish in your child’s mouth and inflame the gum tissue. You can combat bleeding gums and potential gum disease by encouraging your child to brush their teeth twice a day — once in the morning after breakfast and at night before bed.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for blood on your child’s toothbrush and if the problem persists, it might be time for your child’s first trip to the dentist.

#5. Bad breath

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It’s quite normal for your child to have “bad breath” after waking up — most people do! This normally clears away after breakfast and brushing their teeth. However, if their bad breath is constant, it could be a sign of severe gum disease or a mouth/throat infection. Sometimes, bad breath can also come from a blocked nose, sinusitis or a dental abscess.

Make sure to book an appointment with your dentist to determine the cause of your child’s bad breath so you know how to reduce or eliminate it completely.

#6. Sensitivity to cold/hot foods and drinks

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Image: Colleyville Pediatric Dentist (USA)

Tooth sensitivity is extremely unpleasant. If your child is experiencing tooth sensitivity whenever they have hot, cold, sweet or acidic foods and drinks, they may not understand what’s happening — this can cause a lot of fear, frustration and tears.

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel or gums recede to expose the dentine (the bony tissue under the enamel). You should mention this problem to your dentist at your child’s next dental appointment. If the sensitivity is severe and lingering on, you should book an appointment as soon as possible.

#7. Misaligned jaw or teeth

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One of the most visible and obvious signs that your child needs to go to the dentist is a misaligned jaw. You might notice your child’s top teeth are protruding over the lower teeth or vice versa, or there’s a missing tooth from the normal arrangement. This can cause problems with chewing, talking, and breathing, and can cause pain or discomfort for your child.

Misaligned jaws are easier to fix in children than adults because their jaws are still growing, making them more moldable. We recommend booking an appointment with an orthodontic dentist to address the problem sooner rather than later.

#8. Your child hasn’t been to the dentist yet

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Finally, you should organise a trip to the dentist if they haven’t been yet! As a rule of thumb, we recommend booking an appointment with the dentist as soon as your child’s baby teeth start coming through (normally over 12 months old). Your dentist will let you know how often to book an appointment — usually every six to 12 months — so we can keep an eye on their development and dental health.

Tips for a positive trip to the dentist with your child

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Book a routine checkup for your little one at Advance Family Dental

Whether it’s your child’s first trip to the dentist or they’ve got a bit of a toothache, our children’s dentists will make sure your child has a positive experience at Advance Family Dental! Our dentists have decades of experience working with kids and we have a child-friendly waiting room where your little ones can play before their appointment.

Give us a call on (02) 4392 9911 to book a routine checkup for your child today!