Your toddler should see the dentist sometime shortly after they grow their first tooth, but they don't have to see the family dentist after every tooth they grow after that. Just like the rest of your kids, your toddler should go to the dentist periodically for dental cleanings and exams, and when they need X-rays, their dentist will let you know.
Your toddler has the benefit of being somewhat verbal, but they are at a disadvantage in the same realm. Your toddler may not be able to tell you if they have a pain in their mouth or if a tooth is coming in that bothers them (those two-year molars can cause lots of pain and discomfort) and it's your job to watch for signs they need a dental appointment outside their normal checkups.
Here are some of the signs your toddler needs to see the family dentist. While their dental issues may not be an emergency, it's worth making a dental appointment just to be on the safe side.
Your toddler is drooling
Drooling can be a toddler's response to a mouth injury, pain, or swelling in the gums. Sometimes drooling is a response to a food particle stuck in their teeth as well. If your toddler is drooling and not complaining of mouth pain and they're able to speak normally, check their mouth for signs of tooth eruption or mouth injury. Make an appointment for the family dentist to rule out any other problems and to bring your toddler relief if needed.
Your toddler is refusing to chew or swallow
Toddlers eat a variety of foods and should be able to chew and swallow both hard and soft foods and those between as well. If your toddler has an aversion to certain food textures or winces at solid foods or refuses to chew certain things, then they may have some dental issues. A trip to the family dentist can reveal what is going on and can bring your young one great relief as well.
Your toddler may have swallowing issues if they are struggling with a tooth growing in. If your toddler is acting like they have issues breathing, take them to the emergency room right away and from there they can be referred to your family dentist if any serious medical concerns have been ruled out.
Your toddler can tell you they have dental issues in their own way. Your toddler will have many of their dental issues discovered during routine checkups, which is why regular dental checkups are so important. For more information, contact a family dentist near you.