6 Signs Your Child Needs To See A Pediatric Dentist

Some doctors and experts would agree that oral health is very important. Without good dental hygiene, the teeth and gums will suffer from various diseases that can contribute to complex health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

As parents, your child's oral health should be one of your priorities. After all, you want them to live happily, healthily, and confidently. Having a good set of teeth will make them feel more confident and build self-esteem as they grow up.

When Should Your Child First See A Dentist?

Getting regular checkups is a good step to keeping your family healthy and fit. While it's normal for young kids to not visit the dentist just yet, some experts recommend that children as early as six to 12 months of age should visit a dentist already. This is to make sure that the dentist can check and monitor the progress of the child’s teeth as he or she grows and replaces them with permanent ones. 

Parents can benefit from this practice also because you'll gain advice and tips from pediatric dentists on how to best care for your child's teeth. You'll learn some insights about preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Also, encouraging your child to visit a dentist will help them understand the importance of maintaining a good dental routine early in life.

There is more information and tips to apply when it comes to a child’s oral health. One very important recommendation is that your child should see a pediatric dentist regularly. But even if it is not time yet for their annual dental check-up, your child should visit a pediatric dentist if you see the following signs:

  1. They Are Experiencing Dental Pain

As parents, it's normal to feel panicked when your child is in pain. Unfortunately, dental pain is common for kids as they’re still developing their teeth. If your child is complaining about tooth or gum pain, it’s best to accompany them to the pediatric dentist immediately.

Before the dental session, it's best to interview your child about the pain they’re feeling. This way, you can assess how serious the problem is. Observe and ask where the pain is coming from. Ask whether the pain is constant or if it comes and goes from time to time.

Some pain can indicate tooth decay or other dental issues. Also, ask your child about any of their recent activities in school because they might have fallen or slipped, which may have caused some oral pain. Whatever information you have gathered from your child, you can explain it to the dentist later. 

  1. Swollen Or Bleeding Gums

It is not uncommon for gums to bleed quickly, especially when your kid has aggressively brushed or flossed their teeth. These instances are not alarming. However, when the bleeding is intense, there could be underlying reasons behind this. Inflammation is likely to be the cause, which indicates gum disease. If this happens, your child needs to see a pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

Aside from bleeding gums, swollen gums are also another sign that your child should see a pediatric dentist. But before you panic, check more thoroughly to ensure that the swelling is not just caused by growing teeth. In most cases, the cause of your child's swollen gums is likely to be erupting teeth. However, if this is not the case, it could be caused by tooth decay or other dental issues.

Children's gums should be checked regularly for swelling by their pediatric dentists. You can also guide your child's dental hygiene habits and see if there's anything that they do the wrong way. 

  1. Sensitive Teeth Or Gums

Dentists should be consulted when teeth sensitivity occurs. This is a hard sign since you wouldn’t feel it first-hand and you have to wait for your kid to actually complain about it. However, you can try to observe and watch out for signs of tooth and gum sensitivities. For example, while your child eats or brushes their teeth, try to see if they flinch or feel any type of pain as they do it.

A child who complains when given certain foods is likely to have sensitive gums or teeth. This happens when they eat extremely cold or hot foods. It would be best to have a dentist take a look at their mouth and see how to address the sensitivity. In many cases, this is because of tooth decay issues.

As parents, you shouldn't ignore this symptom as cavities can be dangerous when left untreated. They can distract your child even more and affect their dental health ultimately. Cavities can make teeth brittle and more likely to break. And they can evolve into more complex issues, so it's best not to wait until that happens. 

  1. Bad Breath

It's common for people to wake up with bad breath. This is because the saliva dries up during sleep. However, when you catch a whiff of foul smell from your child's mouth even in the middle of the day, this is an indication that you should go and have them checked by a pediatric dentist.

This could be caused by poor dental hygiene or bad habits. But it can be resolved by seeking guidance and help from a dentist. An infection in your child's mouth can be a possible cause of bad breath too. Your dentist can better diagnose and resolve the problem if you schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

  1. If Their Teeth Have Stains Or Discolorations

A baby or young toddler's teeth should be white in color. As they lose their milk teeth and have permanent ones, the colors should still be a whitish shade. When you see stains and other forms of discolorations, it's imperative to seek a dentist's advice right away. These can be early symptoms of tooth decay.  

Yellow teeth should never be ignored, all the more if your child's tooth becomes greyish in color. The pediatric dentist can assess and evaluate the cause, and proper treatment will be executed immediately to salvage the tooth. 

  1. If They Have Loose Teeth

For kids who still have milk teeth, you can expect to find loose teeth from time to time. This is just part of a natural process since their milk teeth are still going to be replaced by permanent ones.

However, if your child is already past the milk teeth stage and you find loose ones in their permanent set of teeth, then that is a sign of an oral health problem. Make it a habit to check your child's teeth or observe them closely, as your kid might not openly talk to you about this. 

Loose permanent teeth can indicate several conditions, so having them examined by a professional as soon as possible helps solve the problem. Your child might have stumbled and hit their mouth on the ground—causing some teeth to get loose.

In some cases, loose teeth are caused by gum disease, or if your child has a habit of grinding their teeth. Lack of certain vitamins might also cause teeth to be weak and loose. A pediatric dentist can determine the reason behind your child’s loose teeth and suggest the right treatment.

What To Look For In A Pediatric Dental Clinic 

You should keep a few things in mind when searching for the best pediatric dental clinic in your area. The following factors should be the main things you must look out for when choosing a pediatric dentist:

  • Qualified And Licensed

It's imperative to find qualified and licensed pediatric dentists in your area. You want someone you can trust and who is professionally trained to take care of your child's dental issues. Before deciding what clinic to visit, make sure the dentist you’re about to see has completed all the necessary credentials and already obtained his or her license to practice.

All types of dentists have to go through dental school, training, and licensure exams, but pediatric dentists typically undergo much more. Having specialized training is needed to treat a child. Pediatric dentists must be able to deal with a child's mouth as it develops and changes rapidly.

  • Helps Relieve Dental Anxiety Among Kids

It's pretty common for children to feel scared and anxious whenever they need to see a dentist. Therefore, it’s important to choose a pediatric dentist who knows how to properly handle children and make them more comfortable whenever they’re in the clinic. Making the experience less frightening will help the child develop a keen understanding of the importance of good oral health.

Dentists can make the journey less frightening by being transparent about the process and tools being used for dental treatment. However, the style of the dentist can vary depending on their personality and practice. The key here is to find a friendly and approachable one.  

Also, it would be better if the dental clinic has an inviting atmosphere for kids. A clinic with child-friendly decor, toys, or a mini playroom is a plus. This way, your child will be distracted by how inviting and attractive the clinic is, and they’ll forget about their fears and worries about the dental visit.

  • Good Reputation

Of course, you need a pediatric dentist who is known for their competence, credibility, and professionalism. You can read online reviews to know more about a certain pediatric dentist. Visit local forums and check the social media page of the clinic to see the sentiments of their clients and patients.

Be sure to pay attention to how the dental clinic handles negative reviews. Ensure that they're professional and polite even when dealing with bad feedback. Also, try to observe if the feedback they have on their pages is balanced. If it’s all too rosy and positive, you might want to find a former patient who can give you honest feedback confidentially.

  • Positive And Encouraging

Another consideration when looking for a pediatric dentist is that they should be encouraging and compassionate when they teach your child to practice good dental hygiene. A pediatric dentist who knows how to encourage and reward children for practicing good dental habits will help your child maintain good oral health all throughout their life.

  • Offers A Variety Of Dental Services

Choosing a dentist with vast experience and dental knowledge would be helpful. This will allow you and your family to visit the same dentist in the future, so they can continue to treat other types of dental concerns. Choose a pediatric clinic that offers a wide variety of dental services.

You can also pick a clinic where multiple dentists are available to address different kinds of issues. Even though you might need to see a different dentist for a unique concern, at least you don’t have to go from one clinic to another to get the treatment you need.

  • Convenient Location

Location is one consideration that's important for most families. This is because convenience is critical when your child needs to get something done right away. Also, it would be best to seek a dentist who lives close to your home, so you can easily reach them during emergencies. This will help speed up treatment if your child can be conveniently driven to the clinic as scheduled. Nevertheless, you and your children will benefit from choosing a children's dentist nearby. This means you don’t have to pack up a lot of stuff since you won’t be out for too long.


Your child should see a dentist if they are experiencing any of the signs mentioned above. Fortunately, these symptoms are all treatable with the expertise and support of an excellent pediatric clinic. The key is to be attentive to your child's oral health. Check and observe how they practice dental hygiene and if they experience discomfort when eating or drinking. It is possible to prevent these issues in the first place by combining daily brushing and flossing with periodic dental exams and cleanings. Strong, healthy teeth and gums will give your child the confidence to build relationships and enjoy life more.