This Quarter’s Theme: Babies and A Dental Home
Tooth Talk Shares Warning Signs of Tooth Problems in Children
As many as a third of high-risk, low-income kids have cavities and it can be as high as half in rural areas. Beyond the self-esteem and developmental impact of poor dental health, there’s the effect on a child’s quality of life. The impact can be so great–from pain and poor growth to personal and economic discrimination–that some experts are calling poor access to dental health services (be it geographic or financial) a social justice issue.
The good news is tooth decay is highly preventable. You can help. Here are some red light behaviors to watch for in children: The root cause just might be a tooth problem. Remember, children often won’t tell you about tooth pain unless you specifically ask. Warning signs of tooth problems in children include:
- Not eating.
- Not sleeping.
- Having a hard time drinking hot or cold beverages.
- Unable to focus and learn.
- Speech problems.
- Missed days.
- Irritation and frustration for no apparent reason.
- Not smiling and laughing.
- Fever and facial swelling.
- Inability to focus on play.
- Failure to thrive; not hitting key developmental milestones.
If you see any of these red flags, inform the parent and encourage a visit to the dentist or doctor.
How successful do you feel at helping parents get young children to the dentist? To give your opinion, click here.