At Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas, we understand some children (and adults!) can feel anxious about going to the dentist. If your child has this common fear, it’s possible they may not want to tell you when something about their teeth is bothering them.
Here are seven signs, both obvious and subtle, that it’s time to schedule your child for a dentist appointment.
They’re More Than 1 Year Old/Within 6 Months of First Tooth Eruption
We’re often asked when a baby should come to the dentist for the first time. When their first tooth has been in six months, or if they’re more than one year of age, they should have their first dentist visit. Primary teeth are essential in lifelong oral health, so getting your child’s teeth checked as soon as they start to come in is key.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene habits young helps children remain able to chew properly, save space for adult teeth, and have confidence in their smiles. Plus, the earlier you schedule your child’s first dentist appointment, the better experience they’ll have, putting them more at ease for their appointments later in life.
It’s Been More Than 6 Months Since Their Last Cleaning
Preventative dental care is key for spotting and avoiding problems with your child’s teeth. You know to have your child brush twice a day for two minutes each, and floss once per day, but regularly scheduled cleanings are another essential part of dental health.
If it’s been longer than 6 months since your child saw the dentist, it’s time to make an appointment. Regular cleanings and checkups help avoid cavities, know when it’s time for dental sealants, and consider their potential need for orthodontia. So if time got away from you and your little one is due for a cleaning, schedule your child’s dentist appointment as soon as possible.
Pain is an obvious sign that something is wrong. Whether it’s a toothache or sensitivity to heat or cold, if your child is experiencing pain, it’s time to visit the dentist. A toothache can be caused by an injury, tooth decay, food stuck between teeth, or teeth crowning. Sensitivity can be caused by worn enamel or decay. No matter the cause, there’s no need for your child to be in pain; Children’s Dentistry can help!
Spots on your child’s teeth can be the beginnings of a cavity. Even the most thorough brushers may miss areas, so keeping an eye on the color of your child’s enamel can help you spot early decay. If you see brown or black spots, or even chalky areas or parts that are whiter than normal, these could all be early warning signs of a cavity. Scheduling your child’s dentist appointment as soon as possible will go a long way toward preventing the progression of the decay.
Problems with Adult Teeth Breaking Through Gums
Sometimes children’s adult teeth may not be able to force the baby teeth out of the way upon eruption. If this occurs, a dentist needs to assess the cause and help take appropriate action. Additionally, sometimes adult teeth come in crooked or even completely sideways. Seeing your child’s dentist is the preferred way to figure out what needs to be done to fix the issue. Sedation dentistry can even be used to ensure that your child is completely comfortable.
Loose Adult Teeth
If your child’s baby teeth have fallen out and been replaced by their adult teeth, yet they mention they feel a loose tooth, it’s time to schedule a dentist appointment for your child. Loose adult teeth could be caused by an impact injury, so seeing the dentist as quickly as you can may help save the tooth.
If your child isn’t old enough to floss, or flossing causes excessive bleeding, their dentist needs to examine them. Sensitive or bleeding gums could be an early sign of gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums due to plaque and bacteria accumulation. Regular flossing is essential in helping to prevent gingivitis, though if gums become sore anyway, the dentist can help.
Contact Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas
If you have questions about when to schedule your child’s dentist appointment, contact us today. Our friendly team of caring professionals can answer your toughest questions, with same-day appointments available in case of emergency. We’ll work together to provide the highest quality care for you and your family.