Does your child wince in pain when they eat something hot or cold? If so, this may be a sign that they have sensitive teeth. While it’s not uncommon to experience an occasional twinge of tooth sensitivity, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our pediatric dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, if the pain persists. Prolonged tooth sensitivity to heat or cold could be a sign of an underlying problem.
Here are the main causes of tooth sensitivity in children.
Your child may experience tooth sensitivity if they have a cavity. The only way to rule out a cavity is to schedule an appointment with our pediatric dental office. During your child’s appointment, we’ll conduct a thorough examination of your child’s teeth and gums. We’ll also take X-rays to determine if there are any issues not visible to the naked eye, such as cavities hiding between teeth.
If Dr. Kim detects a cavity during your child’s appointment, he may recommend either a pediatric crown or dental filling. In general, fillings are used to restore teeth with small cavities while crowns are used to restore teeth with significant decay.
Learn More: Pediatric Crowns vs. Fillings →
To help prevent cavities, we recommend limiting foods and drinks that have a high sugar content. Certain drinks like fruit juice can contain a surprisingly high level of sugar. For this reason, we recommend checking the nutritional labels of foods and beverages before bringing them into your home.
Do you hear your child’s teeth squeak while they’re sleeping? If so, this could be a sign that they’re grinding or clenching their teeth at night. If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to enamel loss in the long run.
Enamel is the white outer layer of your child’s teeth. Once this outer layer wears away, it’s easier for heat and cold to reach the nerves inside your child’s teeth.
During your child’s appointment, Dr. Kim can look for signs of teeth grinding to determine if your child could benefit from a night guard. A night guard is an oral appliance that forms a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth.
It’s important that your child maintain good oral hygiene at home by brushing their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. However, it’s equally important that they brush their teeth gently. If your child brushes their teeth too hard, they may inadvertently wear away the enamel over time. Likewise, brushing too hard can cause the gums to recede over time.
If your child has a tendency to rush teeth brushing, try singing a song to encourage them to slow down and brush more gently.
Dr. Wanki William Kim is an experienced pediatric dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, who’s accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment for your child, please call the Pediatric Dentistry of Michigan at (616) 447-7900. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.