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 Signs That Indicate Your Child Needs a Pediatric Dentist

Much like adults, children should see a dentist every six months for preventative care. However, more frequent checkups may be required if they experience discomfort or other signs of potential problems.

Here, we’re going to discuss some of these possible issues that require the help of a pediatric dentist. Read on for some signs that your child might need a pediatric dentistry appointment ASAP.

1. Frequent Oral Discomfort

When you have cavities or jaw problems, you likely experience discomfort or even pain in your mouth. While periodic toothaches aren’t always a cause for alarm, persistent ones mean that it’s important to see a dentist.

This is true of adults, but it’s even more true of children.

Cavities in baby teeth can be extremely painful for little ones. They may need the tooth pulled if the cavity runs deep enough. Even if things aren’t that bad, a simple filling may preserve the child’s oral health and development.

2. Bleeding Gums

A little bit of gum bleeding is normal in young children. This is because teeth are coming in and the mouth is shifting around. Teething children are bound to bleed a little, as are those losing baby teeth to make way for adult teeth.

However, in some cases, it’s a sign of a problem.

If your child is not at either the teething stage or the tooth-losing stage, they may have gingivitis. Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, requires immediate attention.

Gums can also bleed because of bad flossing habits. This happens in adults a lot, but it can also happen to children if their oral hygiene is especially poor. Get things looked at and invest in some high-quality floss.

3. Headaches and Ear Pain

Dental problems aren’t limited to teeth. They also can impact the jaw, which is connected to other bones in the head and ears. If your child often has headaches or earaches, see a dentist after making sure they don’t have an ear infection.

This pain can be because infected teeth irritate the gums and jaw. It also can get worse if children chew incorrectly to avoid biting down on certain painful teeth.

Headaches and ear pain also are common results of bruxism. “Bruxism” is when someone grinds their teeth and clenches their jaw, usually at night while they’re sleeping.

Bruxism is especially problematic in children because they have frequently misaligned teeth. This is natural since they’ll have a mix of adult and baby teeth in their mouth. A dentist can tell you how to treat the problem and provide you with anti-bruxism tools like mouthguards if needed.

4. Difficulty Eating or Speaking

Eating and speaking are necessary activities that everyone engages in daily. However, they can be really challenging when some areas of the mouth are in pain. They can be even more difficult if there are other serious oral health issues like tongue ties or gum bleeding. 

If your child struggles to eat, that’s a sign that they may need to see a dentist.

It’s possible that it hurts to chew. It’s also possible that the tongue or jaw has a limited range of motion. In either case, seeing an oral health professional is a critical first step toward healthy eating.

Some oral health issues can also impact speech. If your child develops an impediment such as a lisp, they may be having bite difficulties or struggling to shape words because of pain. This is especially true if they did not have the impediment in the past.

5. Constant Bad Breath

Most kids can’t tell when they have bad breath. After all, most adults can’t even smell their own breath. But halitosis in children is generally immediately obvious to adults, and you’ll notice something’s off fairly quickly.

Tonsillitis and sinus infections are common culprits for chronic bad breath. Sometimes, it’s a simple issue like tooth decay or gingivitis that a dentist can help treat. Make sure to bring them to see a dental professional fast, since tooth infections can spread to other parts of the body over time.

Visit the Best Pediatric Dentist in Tampa

Now you know signs your child needs dental help, talk to a pediatric dentist in Tampa FL about their dental care.

At McIlwain Dental Specialists, we’re committed to helping you find the best treatment to fit your family’s needs. Book an appointment today to schedule a check-up and discover more about our comprehensive dental services.