From the time that first tooth makes its debut, your child’s teeth are at risk of damage and decay. While you lovingly care for those darling little buds and teach your child the importance of dental care, there are bad dental habits that you may not have considered to be risky behavior. Here are four bad habits that can affect your child’s dental health.
Not only can biting cause excessive wear on tooth enamel, nail biting can lead to unintentional grinding (bruxism). Children who bite their nails, chew on objects or clench their jaws when they are anxious are at greater risk of bruxism, even while they sleep. Bruxism also flattens teeth and can cause facial and jaw pain.
Too Much Toothpaste
Fluoride can cause damage if too much is swallowed, resulting in white or brown spots on your little one’s teeth. Your child should not be using a fluoridated toothpaste until they are old enough to spit after brushing. Teaching your children not to swallow toothpaste can prevent excessive fluoride consumption during the formation of their permanent teeth. Permanent teeth are still forming until your child is eight years old. Clinics like Valley Oaks Dental Group Inc. can instruct your child on proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Sugary Drinks in Sippy Cups
Sippy cups, or training cups, are a fabulous tool for transitioning babies from a bottle to a cup. Your child should also be drinking from a regular cup. While children enjoy having milk or juice in their own cup throughout the day, having access to sugary drinks during the day is similar to sleeping with a bottle at night. Between meals, it is best to avoid sugary drinks and fill your child’s sippy cup with water.
Children should learn from a young age that chewing ice is bad for their teeth. Chewing on small pieces of ice can seem to be an innocent habit, but ice chewing can cause microscopic cracks in their tooth enamel. The direct contact with the ice causes a cycle of expanding and contracting. These cracks will expand over time and cause teeth to break. Ice chewing can also damage any restorations.
You want your child to have a healthy, beautiful smile throughout their life. Ideally, you will want to schedule your baby’s first dentist exam six months after the appearance of their first tooth. Don’t delay dental exams until you notice a problem. Your child should see a dentist every six months to prevent minor issues from escalating. You also need to watch for bad habits that can affect their dental health.