Bad Oral Habits that Can Hurt Your Child’s Teeth
Once your child’s tooth sprouts, you should set their dental health in motion. This suggests that dental practices for your child should be encouraged as soon as possible while you reinforce them from time to time. Keeping your child’s dental health in optimal condition should be your top priority as a parent. In addition, it’s essential to encourage your child to practice good oral hygiene, such as brushing their teeth twice daily.
However, many bad oral habits can harm your child’s teeth. And as a parent, it’s good to promote your child’s oral health as your children develop, such as recognizing how to keep their gums healthy and prevent decay. Some of the bad habits include:
Avoiding Dentist Visits
If your child doesn’t like dental visits, it might make you put off their next appointment. But the next day or next week can turn into next month, leading to giving up on an appointment altogether. Unfortunately, this habit is the worst of all bad oral habits. Your child avoiding regular dental visits can lead to minor issues turning into big problems.
At first, it can be a complex task to rewire these negative associations, but it becomes easier for you and your child eventually. You should train your child’s mind and associate the dental visits with fun by using positive words or visualizations. However, the best way to make the dentist an easy experience is gentle dental sedation.
You should take your child to the dentist within the first six months after their first tooth appears. You should also have regular and consistent check-ups every twice a year.
Babies suck their thumbs to help comfort themselves. However, you should allow your child to break the habit before they start growing their permanent teeth. Over time, thumb-sucking can affect the natural aligning of the teeth or cause overbite. This can result in your child having difficulties speaking or chewing. This can cost your child expensive orthodontic dental work in the future. Also, this applies when you allow your child to use a pacifier for an extended period. Ensure your child stops using a pacifier at the age of one.
This is also known as Bruxism. It can occur in three out of 10 children and worsen with bad oral habits. Teeth grinding usually happens during deep sleep or times of stress. That is why common treatments such as practicing simple methods to combat stress or wearing a mouthguard at bedtime are there to prevent teeth grinding. A simple way to relieve stress is by making your child open up about their feelings. This will help them ease these symptoms and protect them from further damage.
Bruxism can lead to premature wear on the child’s teeth and cause pain in the jaw or teeth, making them feel uncomfortable when speaking, eating, or smiling. If you suspect your child is suffering from teeth grinding, visit us at Desert Ridge Pediatric Dentistry, we treat teeth grinding in kids in a friendly environment.
Incorrect Brushing Techniques
Not educating your children on the right way to brush their teeth and how they should avoid tooth decay can lead to bad oral habits as they grow older. For example, when your child brushes their teeth vigorously, it can wear their gums and cause a recession. Instead, you should show them how to brush their teeth in gentle circular motions using a soft toothbrush.
Taking Too Much Sugar
Children love sweets, and they enjoy eating them all the time. However, chewing on sticky sweets and sucking on hard candies can lead to tooth decay. Also, exposing them to too many sugary foods and beverages can be harsh on their newly-erupted teeth.
Instead, you should have a healthy start to oral health to help prevent tooth decay by practicing safer nutritious choices and eliminating bad dental habits. For example, you should replace sodas with sugar-free drinks.
Chewing on pencils, Ice, and Pens
A child can unconsciously gnaw on their pen or pencil when studying. Also, children love to chew on ice after finishing their beverages. However, this habit can be destructive to their teeth. For example, when your child chews on the end of their pencil, it can introduce bacteria into the mouth. Also, chewing can break or chip their teeth or cause enamel erosion leading to tooth pain.