Reasons to Call an Early Childhood Dentist

DentistMany parents call our office wondering if they need to bring their child to see an early childhood dentist. There is a lot of misinformation out there that causes parents to wonder if it is necessary for a child to visit a dentist when they are young or if they can wait until they are older. As a dentist, we want to make it very clear that it is critical for a child to visit our clinic as soon as possible.

Baby teeth are important and the best way to care for them is through at-home maintenance and bringing them to our office. With that in mind, it is critical that families find a dentist that treats young children, and that they do so very quickly.

When to call an early childhood dentist

We recommend calling to schedule an appointment as soon as a child has reached their first birthday or shortly thereafter. It is common for parents to bring their children in for the first time when they are either a toddler or when they are starting school. Waiting until they start school is too late from our perspective because this allows for plaque and tartar to remain on the teeth for years.

Instead, bring them in when they are learning the to toddle around is far more likely to reduce the chance of an infection forming. There are other signs that a child should visit our office right away and they include:

#1. Tooth pain

If a child complains of tooth pain, listen to them. Children tend to not exaggerate when it comes to a toothache so this could be a sign that they have a cavity. The first thing a parent can do is brush and floss their teeth and then wait a couple hours.

If the pain goes away, it was likely caused by something either stuck in between their teeth or eating something that is high in acid or sugar content. However, if the tooth pain persists, it is important to call and schedule an appointment right away.

#2. Hard lumps or swelling in the gums

When brushing a child's teeth, look at their gums. If their gums are swollen and there are any hard lumps, it could be the sign of a dental abscess. An abscess is a severe dental infection that must be treated right away. Not only does the underlying health problem need to be addressed, such as the infection or decay removed, but antibiotics may also need to be prescribed.

#3. Dental damage or accidental tooth loss

As an early childhood dentist, we recommend calling right away if a child has damaged or suddenly lost a tooth. Children often damage their teeth when playing on the playground or engaging in sporting activities. Even a simple crack or chip can lead to a dental infection along with discomfort, so it is important to call our office and have it repaired right away.

The same is true for accidental tooth loss. When a tooth falls out naturally, a child does not need to visit our office. However, if tooth loss is caused by an accident, it is wise to come in.

Call for an appointment

Improve your child's health by calling and scheduling an appointment today.

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