Pediatric dentists see what happens when kids possess oral habits that cause more harm than good. That’s why they’ve teamed up with parents to show kids how to help themselves. But where do you begin? Which habits are causing your kids’ dental health to deteriorate? Keep an eye out for the following habits that you can actively discourage:
- Nail biting and thumb sucking: Nail biting can introduce germs and bacteria into your child’s mouth and your child could likewise transmit germs onto what they touch. Thumb sucking can cause an overbite if the habit isn’t disrupted. Positive reinforcement goes a long way to curbing the habit. Some parents have tried putting a bitter or sour food-safe solution on their child’s nail or thumb to help discourage the habit.
- Aggressive brushing: Some kids can be overly aggressive with brushing their teeth. Explaining to them that brushing their teeth gently will still dislodge food or plaque on the surface of their teeth or at their gum line will help end this behavior. Most importantly, keep a close eye on them and follow up with them to make sure they’re brushing correctly.
- Chewing on hard objects: It’s very tempting for kids to chew on their candy or the ice in their drink. Teach them that this could lead to them chipping or fracturing their tooth, which could mean a lot of pain and a trip to the dentist. Encourage them to drink through a straw.
- Teeth grinding: Teeth grinding can do a lot of damage to kids’ teeth and you may not even know it’s an issue until a dentist sees the wear and tear. Regular visits to the dentist can help prevent damage from getting any worse – so make sure that your child is seeing their dentist regularly!
- Not using a mouth guard for sports or other rough activity: Your child could crack or lose their teeth if they’re not wearing a mouth guard while playing contact sports. Explain to them the importance of wearing a mouth guard and provide positive reinforcement until it becomes a habit.
Many times, kids will grow out of these habits. If they don’t, an ingrained habit can be especially hard to break. Keep a lookout for the above habits and try to disrupt or break the pattern while they are still young.
Pediatric Dentist in Knightdale, NC
If your child suffers from any of the above habits, or you’re not sure, come see us at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry to check out their dental health. As the saying goes, “A stitch in time saves nine.” We provide kid-friendly dental examinations that can catch cavities, tooth damage, etc. before it gets any worse. Call us at 252.291.4300 to schedule an appointment, or contact us here!