3 Bad Habits For Your Child's Dental Health
Life is busy for most people. One thing that seems to fall by the wayside so often is dental health - especially when it comes to younger children. Even the most well-meaning parents can allow their young children to develop bad habits that wreak havoc on their teeth. While it is better to avoid them altogether, you can still help prevent further damage by putting a stop to actions that cause your child's teeth harm. Here are three habits that are bad for your child's dental health.
1. Going to bed with a bottle or sippy cup.
One of the worst habits you can allow your child to form is going to bed with a bottle or sippy cup. While it can provide them great comfort as they drift off to sleep alone, it is actually doing such horrible damage to their teeth. This habit actually leads to tooth decay.
The reason that this bad habit causes tooth decay is quite simple. You see, milk and juices contain sugars. When your child goes to bed with a bottle or sippy cup, the sugars from the drink remain on the teeth and feed the plaque that forms on the teeth. The plaque then causes the teeth to decay.
Once the teeth start decaying, your child is at risk for infections and tooth loss - and that's not even considering the oral pain your child can experience from all of this.
As you can see, allowing your child to develop or continue this habit is not a good idea. It may be difficult to get them to give up their bedtime bottle or sippy cup, but it's better to have a mad child for a day or two than for them to lose their teeth to tooth decay.
2. Biting their nails.
Biting their fingernails is another habit that is horrible for your child's teeth. This bad habit can cause their teeth to get chipped or cracked. You may think that is not that big a deal for their baby teeth but, if left unchecked, the habit will likely continue after they have gotten their permanent teeth in. It might be cute for a young child to have a chipped tooth, but not so much for the preteen who's already very self conscious about their appearance.
3. Sucking their thumb.
It is natural for a baby and young child to suck their thumbs. It calms them down and helps them feel secure. As long as your child doesn't have any permanent teeth, there is no harm in thumb-sucking. However, it can cause issues for their teeth if they don't grow out of the habit by the time they get their permanent teeth in.
Once the permanent teeth come in, the thumb-sucking can cause problems with teeth alignment. For most kids, thumb-sucking with permanent teeth causes their front teeth on the top to protrude outward. This is because the thumb was an obstacle when the teeth were coming in - so they came in at an angle instead of straight down.
If you don't want to risk your child not growing out of their thumb-sucking when they're older, you can discourage it at a younger age. Whenever they go to suck on their thumb, simply offer them a different option, such as an activity to take their mind off of the habit. For more information, talk to a professional like HC Dentistry.