Bad Habits that Can Hurt a Child’s Teeth

Smiling girl

There are many bad dental habits that can harm your child’s teeth. Among the most common are avoiding dentist visits, teeth grinding, incorrect brushing techniques, thumb sucking, and a high-sugar diet. As a parent, it’s important to help promote good overall oral care for your child as they grow and develop, such as recognizing how to avoid teeth decay or how to keep a teething infant’s gums healthy.

Bad Habit: Avoiding Dentist Visits

If your child really dislikes dental visits, you might put off their next appointment. But next week can turn into next month, which can turn into giving up on an appointment altogether. This is the worst of the bad dental habits. Avoiding a dental visit can lead to small issues turning into big ones.

At first, rewiring these negative associations can be a complex task, but will eventually become easier for both you and your child. Train your child’s mind and associate dentist visits with “fun” and “educational” by using positive visualizations or words. But the best way to make the dentist an easy experience is with gentle dental sedation.

Your child should visit the dentist within six months after their first tooth appears and have regular, consistent check-ups at least every six months following.

Bad Habit: Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, otherwise known as Bruxism, can occur in 2 to 3 out of every 10 children and can worsen with bad dental habits. This medical condition generally happens during deep sleep phases or times of stress, which is why common treatments such as wearing a mouthguard at bedtime or practicing simple methods to combat stress, like exercising or getting your child to open up about their feelings, helps ease these symptoms and protects them from doing further damage. 

Bruxism can cause premature wear on the teeth and eventually pain in the teeth and jaw, making daily activities such as smiling, talking, or chewing uncomfortable and unpleasant. If you suspect your child is a sufferer, learn more about how to treat teeth grinding in kids or consult with your dentist if the problem persists.

Bad Habit: Incorrect Brushing Techniques

Not educating your child on the correct way to brush their teeth and how to avoid teeth decay can lead to bad dental habits as they get older. Vigorous hard brushing can physically wear the gums and cause recession. Rather, show your child how to brush in gentle circular motions with a soft toothbrush.

Bad Habit: Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking can misalign a child’s permanent teeth normally from between the ages of 4 and 6. If your child doesn’t grow out of this habit, medical professionals recommend trying behavior modification with a reward system.

Bad Habit: Too Much Sugar Little girl drinking a drink

Exposing your child to too many sugary foods or beverages is particularly harsh on children’s newly-erupted teeth. Instead, promote a healthy start to oral health to prevent tooth decay in children by eliminating bad dental habits and making safer nutritious choices for instance, replace sodas with naturally sugar-free drinks.

A Fun, Safe Dental Experience

Children’s Dentistry in Las Vegas specializes in dental anesthesiology, pediatric dentistry, and orthodontics. Take the stress out of going to the dentist. contact us for your child’s next appointment.

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