2 Jane Street, Suite 505
Toronto, ON. M6S 4W3
Taking care of your child’s oral health begins as soon as they are born. It’s crucial to teach them the importance of properly caring for their teeth, even if they only have one or two! Your family’s at-home dental hygiene habits are crucial for the long-term health and appearance of their smiles. However, regular trips to your pediatric dentist are equally important.
Routine checkups are vital for monitoring your child’s oral development and catching issues early. Still, there are many instances when it’s imperative to take your child to the dentist beyond their regular appointments.
In this article, we’ll go over nine signs that indicate your child should see a pediatric dentist at Bloor West Smiles as soon as possible.
1. They haven’t had their first visit yet
By the time your child turns one, they should already have visited their pediatric dentist at least once. In fact, you should make their first appointment within six months of the eruption of their first tooth. Your child’s primary teeth begin to appear around six months of age.
This first appointment is very important! It’s an opportunity to detect developing problems early so they can be treated right away. For example, the dentist will check if any of your child’s primary teeth are crooked or crowding. They will also let you know if the daily teeth cleaning that you do at home with your child is sufficient.
2. They have a toothache
No matter the age of the patient, a toothache is a telltale sign that they need to see a dentist. Although brief discomfort can be dismissed, persistent or severe tooth pain should be addressed as soon as possible. A professional check-up is the best (and often only) way to determine the source of the pain.
Toothaches and pains usually indicate that something more serious is going on—something that needs to be addressed. Your child may be experiencing tooth decay, a broken tooth, or other underlying issues. These conditions will worsen if left undetected.
If your child is in severe pain, you should take them to see an emergency pediatric dentist.
3. They are experiencing tooth sensitivity
If your child has trouble eating hot or cold foods (like ice cream or hot soup), they may be experiencing tooth sensitivity. A sensitive tooth can indicate that they have a cavity.
Since cavities do not get better on their own, you should schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatric dentist promptly. The sensitivity (and the cavity) will only worsen with time.
4. Their teeth are stained or discoloured
Discolouration is another sign that your child should visit a pediatric dentist in Toronto. Yellow or stained teeth typically are not getting the care that they require. This means that your child’s oral hygiene routine may be lacking. Brushing twice a day and flossing once daily should be enough to combat yellowing baby teeth.
A gray, brown, or black tooth, on the other hand, is a serious sign of tooth decay. Dental intervention is absolutely crucial. Decay can progress quickly, so immediate professional attention is required.
5. There are white spots on their teeth
You should also look for the appearance of white spots on your child’s teeth. Like discolouration and stains, white spots are not normal and mean something is amiss. Exposure to excessive levels of fluoride can cause white spots to develop. Alternatively, the spots could be an early sign of cavities. The tooth enamel could also be damaged.
It’s thus important to visit Bloor West Smiles in Toronto to determine the cause of white spots and receive the proper treatment.
6. Their gums are swollen or bleeding
Swollen and bleeding gums should be taken seriously. This can be a sign of a severe oral health condition that needs urgent attention.
Inflammation, infection, and disease can cause gums to swell and bleed. The accumulation of plaque can irritate gums, eventually leading to the development of gingivitis or the loss of permanent teeth. Dental decay can also lead to the formation of abscesses. Furthermore, inflammation and decay can put your child at risk for periodontal disease in the future.
7. They have persistent bad breath
While eating certain foods or having a dry mouth can cause instances of bad breath, persistent bad breath can be a reason for concern. If your child is brushing regularly and staying hydrated, their breath should not smell off-putting most of the time.
Consequently, continuous bad breath can be an early sign of cavities, gingivitis, or gum disease. You should schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatric dentist to ensure that there’s nothing to worry about.
8. Their jaw clicks when they chew
Does your child’s jaw make a popping sound or click when they chew? This could be a sign of jaw misalignment or a developing TMJ disorder.
Jaw misalignment and bite issues (such as an overbite or underbite) can cause discomfort, speech problems, difficulty chewing, and tooth decay if left untreated. Your child’s pediatric dentist may recommend braces to correct their bite issues.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) affects both children and adults. It’s common for the jaw to make clicking or popping sounds. Some children do grow out of TMJ, often because the disorder was caused by jaw overuse or an impact to the side of the face. In these cases, lifestyle changes (like avoiding chewing gum) and time can resolve the issue.
For other children, their TMJ is caused by orthodontic or oral development issues, such as an improper bite. Fortunately, orthodontics can help.
9. They suck on their lips
Some children develop a lip-sucking habit, which is when they repeatedly place their lower lip between their upper and lower teeth to suck on it. This bad habit can affect the alignment of the teeth. Tongue thrusting and thumb sucking can also lead to malocclusion.
If you notice your child sucking their lips (or tongue thrusting or tongue sucking), you should take them to see a pediatric dentist at Bloor West Smiles in Toronto. Your dentist will assist the child in getting rid of the habit.
Find a Pediatric Dentist in Toronto
At Bloor West Smiles, our pediatric dentistry team is ready to care for the smile of your little one. We work hard to ensure that every visit to our clinic is a happy one for both you and your children.
Our caring pediatric staff helps your child feel more comfortable in the dentist’s chair and is available to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to welcoming you into our clinic!