Since your child will need their baby (or primary) teeth until they reach the age of 12 or 13, keeping baby teeth free of decay and taking them for regular visits to the dentist is important. It may also mean that your child will turn to you to help relieve their pain from teething and toothaches.
Some children are more at risk for tooth decay than others, including children who:
If your child hasn’t visited a dentist yet, it’s time to get them into the habit. Regular dental visits should start no later than three years of age; however, some dentists prefer to start seeing one-year-olds while others wait until a child’s baby teeth have erupted.
While your child may tell you they have a toothache, they could be experiencing teething pain instead. If that’s the case, your child may also have some of the following symptoms:
Cavities (also known as tooth or dental decay) originally start when bacteria build up in the mouth. When this happens, plaque (a thick, sticky film) forms around the teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria that convert sugars in foods and drinks to acids that eat away at the tooth’s protective enamel layer. Once the enamel is eroded, the tooth’s inner pulp and nerves are exposed. Since these are quite sensitive, any irritation can cause extreme and sudden pain.
If your child is between that ages of 1 and 4, giving them sugary juices in bottles(especially at bedtime and while they’re sleeping) can cause tooth decay and cavities. It’s probably best to break that routine.
If your child is four years old or older and sucks their thumb, then it may be time to curb their habit. While thumb sucking doesn’t cause toothaches directly, it can interfere with the eruption of your child’s adult or permanent teeth and change the shape of your child’s growing jaw bone.
While putting an end to your child’s thumb-sucking habit can be frustrating and tricky, try one of these tips:
If your child’s toothache is caused by a cavity, they will likely have one or more of these symptoms:
To make your child’s first visit to the dentist’s office a little less scary, try the following:
Thrush is the least common cause of toothaches in children and is caused by an overgrowth of Candida (a fungus) in the mouth. Symptoms include:
You should make an appointment with your child’s doctor if your child is experiencing a toothache as a result of a thrush. Thrush is easily treated with a topical anti-fungal medication.