Parents need to teach their children about healthy dental habits while they are young. Healthy dental habits take time to develop, so it’s good to start them young to keep their teeth far from cavities. Aside from teaching children what to do, parents must also teach them what not to do.
Children may have simple habits, such as nail-biting or thumb-sucking, that may appear normal. However, unknown to many parents, these common habits may lead to adverse oral health outcomes. That said, it is crucial to prevent these bad dental habits before they turn into bigger issues in the future.
Here are five bad habits that children commonly do that are bad for their health:
- Brushing Teeth Too Harshly
Children develop the habit of brushing their teeth as early as their toddler stage. However, while they may be consistent in brushing their teeth, they may not be doing it the right way. Brushing one’s teeth too hard may cause bleeding or injury to their teeth and gums. It may also cause problems, such as receding gum and enamel wear. This puts the child at risk of tooth sensitivity.
- Swallowing Toothpaste While Brushing Their Teeth
Many children love to brush their teeth. However, parents must also watch out for those kids who love to taste their toothpaste and end up swallowing them. There are many kinds of children’s toothpaste out there that have artificial flavouring. This makes children want to taste them all.
While it may appear harmless, swallowing toothpaste is bad for kids. Excessive intake of fluoride from the toothpaste may cause dental fluorosis. It is a common disorder that causes permanent brown spots on the tooth’s enamel due to overexposure to fluoride during enamel formation.
- Frequently Sucking Their Thumb
Many children undergo the phase of regularly sucking their thumb. Some parents think that this habit is tolerable and wait for their child to outgrow it. However, this habit is detrimental to the child’s teeth, so it is crucial to find a way to stop this bad habit as early as possible because it affects how the teeth form as it grows. If this habit goes on for an extended period, it may cause the teeth to shift forward or misalign with the typical 'rabbit' teeth appearance. This is not a good look and can lead to playground taunts.
- Having the Habit of Nail-biting
Aside from thumb-sucking, many kids have the terrible habit of biting their nails with their teeth. Apart from being a common impulse problem for most kids, it also has damaging effects on their tooth enamel. This habit may cause the roots of their tooth to become exposed and result in teeth sensitivity. The best way to prevent this habit is to make sure that children’s nails are cut regularly. Doing so reduces their temptation to bite their nails.
- Being Afraid of the Dentist
Many kids are afraid of the dentist. Parents have the constant challenge of encouraging their kids to go to the dentist. Instead of giving in to the fear of children, parents must be innovative in motivating their children to visit the dentist. For example, parents may encourage their child by buying a new electric tooth brush after the dentist appointment.Conclusion
Even without apparent dental issues, parents need to bring their children for a dental check-up at least twice a year. Routine check-ups help detect dental issues and address them before they become bigger problems.
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