The dentist can tell a variety of things about your child’s daily life and health simply by examining his or her teeth. Here are five things you may not realize the dentist can deduce!
1. Your child flossed just before the dental appointment – and that’s about it.
Just because your child does a really good job flossing on the day of her dentist's appointment, doesn't mean the dentist won’t be fooled into thinking your child flosses on a regular basis.
The gums of someone who only flosses right before a visit to the dentist typically bleed and look damaged. Plus, a single flossing session won’t eliminate the plaque that's built up due to lack of flossing over a period of months.
2. Your child bites his nails.
The dentist may be able to tell if a child has a nail biting habit without ever looking at his hands. Signs that might tell the dentist that your child bites his nails include cracked or chipped teeth and other wear and tear, all of which can result from the stress on the teeth caused by nail biting.
The nails themselves don’t actually cause this damage; rather, it’s the friction of the top and bottom teeth against each other.
3. Your child has a sinus infection.
Oftentimes, a sinus infection is mistaken for a toothache.
The reason the discomfort caused by these two different issues can be confused is that the roots of the top teeth are positioned in the same area as the floor of the sinuses. And both sinus infections and toothaches can include symptoms of pressure.
If you child says she has a toothache, have her bend down to touch her toes. If the pressure or discomfort increases when she does this, the pain is likely a symptom of a sinus infection, not a toothache.
4. Your child has an iron deficiency.
There are several oral conditions that will indicate to your dentist that your child has an iron deficiency. These can include bleeding gums, delayed healing of oral injuries, oral tissue sloughing off, increased instances of infection, burning tongue syndrome, or sores in the corners of the mouth.
5. Your child frequently drinks pop and energy drinks.
This one may not surprise you! However, the reason the dentist can tell your child drinks these beverages regularly won’t necessarily be because he has cavities due to sugar.
The fact is that pop and energy drinks are very acidic, and these acids can cause the enamel of teeth to soften. This can lead to cavities and decay, of course, but it also makes teeth more susceptible to chipping.
If your child has a chipped tooth, regular pop or energy drink consumption may be the culprit!