Should Your Child Stay Home From School For a Toothache?

dentistsDental pain is difficult to deal with at any age, but for children, it can be particularly unpleasant. Children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain, and it’s not always easy to determine when a child’s tooth pain warrants a missed day of learning. Here’s what the experts say about how to determine whether or not your child should stay home from school activities as a result of a toothache or other dental issue.


Causes of Tooth Pain

First, understand that there are a wide variety of causes of tooth pain, even with children. Teething and cavities are two common causes, but they aren’t the only causes. Start by performing a visual check of your child’s mouth. You may not be a dentist, but you can at least check for anything that looks abnormal. For example, sometimes, a toothache is simply caused by a piece of food stuck in the teeth or gums.


Does Your Child Have Other Symptoms?

Next, ask your child — and try to determine for yourself — whether or not they have any other corresponding symptoms. These may be indicative of an infection or another potentially serious health issue. For example, if your child has a fever, it’s best to keep them home from school and take them to a doctor. Experts say 100.4 degrees is the cutoff for keeping a child home from school, but in cases where other symptoms are present, like a toothache, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


The Bottom Line

Remember, adult teeth typically start to come in around age six. Until then, baby teeth act as placeholders for the permanent teeth, and damage to them can cause substantial problems later. In the end, communicate with your child to get an idea of the severity of the pain. If it’s too much, they’ll definitely let you know. But most importantly, never ignore your child’s tooth pain — take them to one of the many pediatric dentists in your area who can identify the cause as well as a proper treatment plan.


Ultimately, dental pain has many causes, and it’s important to take proper action when it comes to your child’s dental health in regards to school attendance. For more information about family dentists, contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group.