As an adult, you know the signs of common dental ailments and emergencies such as infections. Unfortunately, when your children experience the same symptoms, they may not only not understand what’s happening to their teeth but also may not be able to express their discomfort to you.
This issue with identifying dental problems is particularly common with children who are nonverbal, either due to their age or to another characteristic such as autism, delayed speech development, or a behavioral issue affecting speech.
Luckily, in most cases, parents can identify the need for their child to see a pediatric dentist by watching for nonverbal clues that their child is experiencing discomfort, such as the following six.
1. Avoidance of Hard or Chewy Foods
If you’ve ever had a serious dental problem, you know that oral discomfort can worsen when you attempt to eat foods that put a lot of pressure on the affected tooth. Hard or crunchy foods ranging from apples to nuts can exacerbate the issue, as can chewy or sticky foods like sweets.
If your child usually enjoys apple slices with lunch or gummy candies as a treat but suddenly shows disinterest or even vehement disgust with these items, he or she may have a toothache rather than a new food preference.