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What’s the Best Age to Visit a Pediatric Dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, parents should take their child to their pediatric dentist when their first tooth emerges, or by their first birthday. You may think this is too early for a child to visit a pediatric dentist, but it is not. Research suggests that each year beyond a child’s first birthday that they do not see a pediatric dentist nearly doubles their chances of getting tooth decay.

Even if your child doesn’t yet have enough erupted teeth to warrant a traditional dental cleaning, these early appointments are important for you and your little one. The pediatric dentist will conduct an exam of your child’s mouth including their gums and any erupted teeth to evaluate their growth and development. A gentle cleaning may be conducted with friendly techniques that introduce little ones to tools used during cleanings, so they feel comfortable. These early appointments are great opportunities for parents to receive valuable advice on how to care for their child’s oral health through proper hygiene techniques and dietary habits.

Signs Your Child May Have a Cavity

Did you know that cavities are one of the most common chronic childhood diseases in the United States? If left untreated, cavities can destroy teeth, cause infections, and potentially lead to life-threatening conditions like heart disease and diabetes. The good news is that cavities are highly preventable. Here are some common signs your child may have a cavity:

  • Tooth Discoloration – White spots on your child’s tooth is an indicator that a cavity could be forming. If the spot is left untreated, the white spot can darken and move from surface level to deep within the tooth. It’s at this time that decay is setting in and nerve damage is occurring, causing your child to experience a painful toothache.
  • Tooth Sensitivity – As tooth enamel weakens, dentin is left exposed and vulnerable to hot, cold, and acidic foods, which stimulate the nerves and cells within the tooth, causing tooth sensitivity and pain.
  • Toothache – The most classic sign of a developing cavity is a classic toothache. Toothaches can happen suddenly or can be felt after eating something. If your child experiences a toothache persists for several days, a cavity is likely the reason.

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact us today to find an Nashville Children’s Dental Network pediatric dentist at a convenient location near you. Our specialists will help treat any existing cavities your child may have and educate you and your child on preventative care techniques to avoid future cavities.