As a parent, one of the most important things is that your child grows up happy and healthy. While the idea sounds simple, sometimes it can be hard to make good habits stick and put a stop to bad ones. When it comes to children’s oral health, many habits that they acquire out of comfort or to cope with their emotions could impact their teeth and gums. It’s best to alert your family dentist of these issues early on so they can keep them from causing permanent damage. Read on to learn 4 common habits that children adopt that are bad for their oral health.
Poor Oral Hygiene
After a long day paying attention at school and an hour of homework when they get home, it can be easy for your little one to forget to brush and floss and instead, collapse straight into bed. When this happens, it allows all the sugar, plaque, and harmful oral bacteria built up throughout the day to linger and slowly wear away their enamel.
Without anything shielding their teeth, they’re left vulnerable to common oral health problems like cavities. Plus, not putting a stop to this habit could pave the way for severe issues to crop up throughout their adulthood.
Nursing Bottle Syndrome
Nursing bottle syndrome is when your child develops cavities and decay as a result of constantly drinking liquids containing sugar such as milk, breast milk, formula, and fruit juice. For example, if your child finds comfort in falling asleep with a baby bottle in their mouth, this could result in sugar buildup on their teeth and cause decay. The best way to avoid this from happening is to make the switch to a sippy cup by the time they turn one. It’s also a good idea to substitute water for fruit juice as often as possible.
If your child sucks their thumb, there’s no need to be concerned. This is a completely natural coping mechanism that allows them to feel comfortable and safe. However, once your child’s permanent teeth begin growing in, it can start to cause issues. The constant pressure on their pearly whites and oral tissues can cause their bone structure to change, resulting in misalignment, bite problems, and buck teeth during a critical time in their development.
These problems can impact their speech as well as their ability to properly chew and digest their food. If your child is still sucking their thumb by the age of five, ask your family dentist for tips on how to curb this habit.
Tongue thrusting is when your child regularly presses their tongue against their lips. It can cause their teeth to protrude from their mouth. With help from the proper professionals, they can help break your little one’s bad habit and avoid long-term dental problems.
If you’re concerned about bad oral habits that could be impacting your child’s oral health, don’t hesitate to contact your family dentist to schedule an appointment. They can offer advice and resources to help break them and implement good ones in their place. Your child will be thanking you when they have a smile that they’re proud to show off as an adult!
About the Author
Dr. Robert Shick places an emphasis on providing his patients with high-quality preventive dental care to help them avoid serious problems in the future. He enjoys giving entire families the tools and treatments they need to maintain healthy and beautiful smiles. He also provides a range of children’s and adult services ranging from dental sealants to porcelain veneers. For questions or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning, visit Dental Charm’s website or call 973-921-9097.