As a parent, it is important to instill good oral hygiene habits in your child. Every step you take can have an impact on your child’s overall health. For example, thumb sucking and the use of pacifiers are well-known causes of tooth damage in children.
But do you know that childhood dental caries is the most common chronic childhood disease? Habits your youngster develops today might negatively impact his oral health and necessitate repeated visits to the pediatric dentist.
Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Child’s Teeth
Well, here are a few of the bad habits that can affect your child’s teeth.
1- Putting Baby to Bed With Milk Bottle
There is no doubt that you want to comfort your child when he’s crying. And every parent has their way of doing it. Some use a pacifier, while others offer their baby milk, juice, or soft drinks on demand. At the same time, these habits might seem harmless at the time. But, it can cause a lot of trouble.
The problem is that this liquid sits in the kid’s mouth and turns into a breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria. This can cause tooth decay and other dental problems like enlarged gums and receding gum line, which is a serious condition that requires immediate attention from your pediatric dentist.
2- Not Spitting Toothpaste Out
Spitting out toothpaste is another bad habit that can cause dental problems, especially if your child uses too much toothpaste at once. Just like sugar-sweetened drinks, overuse of fluoride can lead to cavities and decay. So be mindful about how much paste your kid puts on the brush every time he brushes his teeth.
In addition to that, when kids eat toothpaste, they get a lot of fluoride intake. It can further lead to spots that can ruin your child’s teeth by discoloring them. This issue is called fluorosis. In many cases, it is not even noticeable, but the mottled appearance can be quite distinct. It can further interfere with your child’s confidence.
In that case, you might need cosmetic whitening, veneers, or even crowns. Well, it can be a very costly treatment for a thing that can easily be treated. So, teach your children to spit out their toothpaste properly.
3- Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking is yet another bad habit that can affect your child’s teeth. It has been observed that children who suck their thumb or fingers usually do it until the age of six, but some continue to do it even after they’ve turned ten years old!
This habit causes different types of dental issues like misalignment and underbite problems. Moreover, if you cannot stop your baby from putting his hands into his mouth, then make sure he does not sleep with them in his mouth during naps and at nighttime. Also, avoid letting him put anything other than food items inside this cavity-prone area as it will only worsen the damage done by these habits over time.
Well, here are a few tips for parents on how to break their child’s habit of thumb sucking.
- Make sure to offer your children pacifiers instead when they are feeling upset or anxious, as it does not damage their teeth as a thumb can do.
- You can also try putting bitter products on his thumbs so that he eventually avoids the taste and stops using them for comforting himself all the time. But remember, these tips have no guarantee of working out in every case. So you need to be very patient with this process; until then, only will we see results.
4- Biting nails
This habit is not limited to children only. Teens and even adults bite their nails out of stress, boredom, or just because they like it. But this can lead to splitting and cracking of the nail bed and further cause infections that might need medical attention from your doctor and your pediatric dentist.
Here are a few tips to stop nail biting issues in kids:
- Encourage them to stop biting nails whenever you see them doing that.
- Offer them a reward when they listen to you.
- Use nail-biting nail polish that discourages them from biting nails.
If you are unable to assist your child quit biting their nails, talk to your pediatrician or one of our specialists for suggestions on how to help.
5- Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding is yet another bad habit that can affect your child’s teeth. It happens when a person clenches or grinds their teeth together while sleeping, talking, eating, and even during physical activities like jogging or bicycling.
This habit causes serious damage to primary as well as permanent teeth. If you see any signs of this behavior in your children, make sure they can stop it immediately by doing exercises for their jaws daily.
This may include opening wide sideways with mouth closed followed by closing back again after putting fingers between open jaws on both sides. After that, you can massage them gently till one feels pain/stiffness, etc., which needs rest time before continuing further workout sessions the next day.
6- Bad diet
A bad diet is yet another bad habit that can affect your child’s teeth. When a person eats food items with high sugar content like candy, sugary carbonated drinks, and even fruit juices. They can stick on tooth surfaces for long periods causing further damage by slowly decaying them from inside out.
This habit causes cavities in children, which need the professional attention of a pediatric dentist. So, if you see any signs of these habits in your kids, make sure they can quit it right away so that there isn’t any serious dental issue caused due to their ignorance about good oral hygiene care practices.
In case you are looking for the best pediatrician in Dubai, then Contact Dr. Yasmin. She is one of the best Pediatricians in Dubai who can take care of your kid’s oral hygiene. If your child needs pediatric dental care or presentation programs and preventions, she will surely help you by offering her professional advice.