A toddler who may (or may not) have a toothache. Who even knows?

The second-worst thing about a toddlers’ toothache is the uncertainty of whether they even have one. They may not be able to express themselves, adding to your worry. Here are several signs that help you determine if your child has a toothache.

  • Massaging or rubbing at their face
  • Having a runny nose or achy eyes
  • Showing an inability to stay asleep
  • Being upset while eating or losing their appetite
  • Having a fever
  • Displaying sensitivity to hot or cold foods
  • Demonstrating general distress or agitation


How to diagnose a toothache:

Your Physician will usually be your first choice when your child is in obvious distress. In turn, he or she may refer you to your Dentist if they feel that the problem is of a dental origin. 

  • A phone call to your dentist should be the next step, and a short visit is the best option to diagnose your toddler’s pain. As well as focusing on alleviating the source of their pain, a comprehensive exam of your child’s current oral health is always helpful to lessen everyone’s concerns. 
  • To further determine or treat the cause of your child’s toothache, your dentist will likely check for cavities using a transilluminator, a device requiring no radiation. 
  • Depending on the doctor’s examination, digital X-rays may be done.
  • At Dr. Joseph’s Dentistry, a family dental practice in London, ON, we would like to assure you that the usage of X-rays has the backing of many years of medical scientific research and that modern X-rays use very little radiation and are a lot safer. 


At Dr. Joseph’s Dentistry, we use digital x-rays which use a lot less radiation than traditional film x-rays. 

Read our article,What Kind of Dental Work Can a Pregnant Woman Receive?’ to learn more about safe dental practices, not only for our pregnant clients but for everyone. 


The easiest way to lessen the risk of a toothache:

  • Cavities are, of course, the most common reason for toothaches.
  • Practising oral hygiene with toothbrushing and the introduction of flossing is an integral part of reducing the risk for cavities. It may be difficult to institute regular oral hygiene when it comes to toddlers. However, you must find a way to incorporate oral health as a positive habit.
  • Parenting is all about finding ways to encourage trust and love within a child to instil the necessary, healthy, physical and emotional habits for their lifetime betterment.
  • The secret is to start healthy habits very early with your child. Even when babies are without teeth, you will make the toothbrush a familiar and emotionally neutral thing by inserting a soft, small-headed toothbrush into their mouth. That way, by the time their teeth come in, they’ll be accustomed to it.
  • Your toddler wants to know you are on their side, so try a light touch first. At the earliest sign of upset, withdraw your finger or toothbrush and engage in a cuddle and close-time. Don’t try again until the next day when they are particularly at ease and happy. 
  • We are all delicate and perceptive, and making sure your bond with your child remains strong is the key to their trust. If they sense you are nervous and frightened, they will pick up on that feeling. It’s ok for this to take time.
  • A baby will also benefit from you gently wiping their gums with a clean damp washcloth or infant toothbrush.
  • If they are teething, a refrigerated cloth will be soothing.
  • The Canadian Dental Association site offers a fun science experiment that you and your child can do together to help understand the importance of brushing and flossing teeth.


Between the time you can visit your dentist, read more about at-home remedies for soothing an unknown mouth pain, ‘Can a Family Dentist Also Perform Cosmetic Dentistry?’ Skip down to our toddler paragraph.



Visit us at London Dental House by Dr. Joseph. Our dental office is bright and friendly, the perfect spot for toddlers and parents. 

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