Teaching your child proper early dental care is an important part of establishing a good dental hygiene routine.
Along with educating them on how to take care of their teeth properly, it is also important to teach them to avoid the five bad oral habits below.
Trying to Chew Hard Objects
Whether it is a treat from the drive through bank or candy at the restaurant exit, hard candy is a common way to reward children for good behavior. The problem is your little one is likely to bite down on the candy and may risk fracturing or chipping a tooth. To avoid this bad oral habit, it is best to not give your child food or candy that is hard, including ice.
Brushing Too Hard
It is essential to teach your child good brushing habits early on as well as make sure they have the proper tools. Explain to them that the point of brushing is to gently remove debris and plaque from their teeth and gum line, not to scrub their teeth. Many young children are overly aggressive when brushing. Brushing too hard or with a hard, nylon toothbrush can lead to root and tooth damage.
Sucking on Their Fingers or Thumb
While this habit may seem harmless when your child is young, it is a bad oral habit to break as they get older since their fingers are readily available. As your child grows, continued sucking can cause their front teeth to protrude and create a deformity in their mouth and teeth. This can lead to a "buck" tooth appearance as well as create a flat appearance on their thumb.
Sugary Snacks or Drinks
As much as the idea of brushing after every meal may stick in your head, most adults and especially children do not follow this advice. Since your child won't always be able to brush after they eat, the residue and debris from the snack they have eaten will sit on their teeth until it is removed. The same is true for the drinks that they consume throughout the day. If these snacks or drinks contain a large amount of sugar, your child will be at higher risk for decay.
Not only can grinding teeth wear down and damage the surface of teeth it can also lead to jaw problems that can even show up later in life. If your little one clenches or grinds their teeth, consult with their dentist to see if a mouth guard can help reduce the wear and prevent damage.
One of the most important things you can do to help your child maintain good oral health is keeping regular dentist appointments. To schedule an appointment for your child and/or find out more information on how the above bad habits can be prevented contact us today.