Once your children are old enough to brush their teeth on their own, you can’t always be positive they’ve brushed properly or at all – even if they’ve told you otherwise. However, you can’t hover over them at the sink forever, either. A child who doesn’t brush properly is at greater risk for cavities, gum disease and other dental issues, but she may be too embarrassed to tell you or may not even know there’s a problem. Watch your kids for signs they have dental issues and get them to the right dentist as soon as possible.
Visit Park Slope Dentistry’s website to learn more about treating cavities and the early symptoms of cavities before the pain becomes unbearable. Among the most common symptoms is a loss of appetite, especially when it comes to harder foods. It’s not that your child isn’t hungry, but that chewing causes him discomfort. If your child has a sudden change in appetite, especially if he still complains of being hungry but won’t eat food he used to like, look inside his mouth for signs of decay. He might also be favoring one side of his mouth over the other consistently.
Not only is brushing infrequently or improperly a common cause of dental problems, it’s also one of the signs your child is suffering. Brushing may irritate your child’s sore gums or teeth, so she doesn’t want to brush to avoid that pain or discomfort. If she either refuses to brush or you notice the toothbrush is still dry after she’s supposedly brushed, check her mouth for signs of irritation, decay or infection.
Dental issues such as infections and cavities will eventually cause swelling that’s visible even on the cheeks. If your child manages to hide his discomfort, he won’t be able to hide the swelling. While swelling on the cheeks and jaw could be a sign of a number of general health issues, it definitely calls for immediate treatment. Start at the dentist to see if the issue is tooth or gum-related.
In addition to taking your child to the dentist twice a year for cleanings and a general checkup, it’s important you watch for signs of bigger issues before they get worse. Leaving a dental issue like a cavity untreated can cause pain, infections and in extreme cases, even fatalities. Your child will hopefully tell you before an issue gets that bad, but you can’t always be sure, and it falls to you to be vigilant.