Nothing fills your heart more than when your little one looks up at you and flashes their wide grin. As a parent, you can’t help but think about how you don’t want them to have low self-esteem due to misaligned teeth and a crooked smile. But what can you do to reduce the risk of that happening? Breaking unhealthy habits for children can be difficult, but it’s well worth the effort. Learn about what your son or daughter is doing that could be putting their future smile in jeopardy. Read on to learn 5 actions to get them to stop before it’s too late.
Chewing on Toys and Hard Objects
Your child won’t consider the consequences of running around with toys in their mouth or chewing on objects, which is why it’s important for you to step in. They may be unsteady on their feet, especially while running around the house. When they trip or fall with an object between their teeth, you could be facing a dental emergency. This bad habit can put them at risk for chipping, cracking, or fracturing a tooth.
Nail biting may seem harmless, but it could cause your child to chip one or multiple teeth. Stopping this habit when they’re young can also save them from having a dental emergency when they’re older. Instead, try to preoccupy their hands when they’re under stress with a soft stress-ball or something they can fiddle with.
Thumb-sucking is a completely natural and soothing habit for toddlers. They can do this to put themselves to sleep or to comfort themselves while they’re away from you. It doesn’t become a problem until they carry it on when they’re older, or if they do it with excessive force and suction. It can cause the upper and lower arches of their mouth to become deformed, making their front teeth protrude.
Not only can this affect the position of their teeth, but they can also be sucking on germs they’ve picked up throughout the day. Because this is a common soothing habit, giving them a stress-ball may help occupy them. If that doesn’t work, simply try making your child aware of what they’re doing and how it could affect their smile.
Snacking on Too Many Sweets
If your child has a sweet tooth, controlling how much candy they consume can help them avoid dental problems such as cavities and infections. When they snack on sugary foods and drinks throughout the day, it can cause their mouth to become a bacterial breeding ground. Instead, try substituting water and healthier snacks like carrots and celery.
Brushing Too Hard
You may not have considered this bad habit, but if your child isn’t aware, they could be using too much pressure when they brush their teeth. This can lead to them damaging the roots of their teeth as well as gum irritation. Teaching your child at a young age how to brush their teeth can help.
It’s recommended that you take your child to see a children’s dentist by the time they turn 1 or within 6 months after their first tooth appears in their mouth. This can ensure that your child’s oral health is in good shape and give you the chance to ask their dentist any questions you may have.
About the Author
Dr. Dhiren Ahir is known for the comforting and gentle care he gives his patients, especially for those that suffer from fear or anxiety. He enjoys taking care of their individualized needs and making them feel confident about their smiles. He takes continuing education courses so he can provide his patients with the highest quality of care. For any questions or to schedule your child’s first dental appointment, visit Celebration Family Dental’s website or contact 469-892-6647.