We know you care deeply about your child’s dental health, which is why we want to shed some light on a few habits that can harm kids’ teeth. Even with regular dental visits, it’s important to be aware of these common habits and make adjustments to protect your child’s smile.
We’re happy to offer guidance on helping your child break these bad habits. Call 720-637-1760 today to schedule your child’s next exam in Littleton, CO. In the meantime, check out our list:
- Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Dependence – We get it, thumb sucking and pacifiers can bring comfort and soothe your child, especially during the early years. However, prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use can cause dental issues. These habits can affect the alignment of teeth, jaw development, and even impact the roof of the mouth. As your child grows, wean them off these habits to prevent potential dental complications. We can offer some suggestions to help.
- Bottle or Sippy Cup Dependency – It’s tempting to let your child fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup in hand, but this habit can lead to a condition known as baby bottle tooth decay. When sugary liquids (like milk or juice) pool around their teeth for extended periods, it creates a breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria. Transition your child from a bottle to a regular cup as they grow older, and limit sugary drinks, especially at bedtime.
- Nail Biting and Chewing on Objects – Children often explore the world around them through their mouths, which includes biting their nails or chewing on objects. Not only can this habit spread harmful bacteria, but it can also cause teeth to chip, crack, or become misaligned. Help your child find alternative ways to manage stress or boredom, like offering chewable toys or engaging in other activities that keep their hands and mouths occupied.
- Too Many Sugary Treats – Let’s face it, sweets are hard to resist for kids (and often for adults too!). However, consuming too many sugary treats exposes teeth to acid attacks, leading to tooth decay. It’s crucial to monitor your child’s sugar intake and promote healthy snack options. Watch out for sugar in juice and similar drinks. When you let your child have juice, dilute it with water.
- Neglecting Proper Oral Hygiene – Establishing a good oral hygiene routine early on is crucial for your child’s dental health. Ensure they brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and teach them proper brushing techniques. Show them how to floss and have them do it every day. And of course, visit our office for routine check-ups and cleanings. We’re happy to demonstrate brushing and flossing techniques for your child! Instilling these habits sets them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. You may also want to consider dental sealants and/or fluoride treatments to give your children’s teeth added protection against cavities.
- Grinding and Clenching Teeth – Some children may develop a habit of grinding or clenching their teeth, especially during sleep or times of stress. This condition, known as bruxism, can cause tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, and even wear down tooth enamel over time. We’ll look for signs of teeth grinding during your child’s exams. If they show signs of this habit, we can fit them for a custom-made mouthguard to prevent dental damage. Relaxation techniques can help too.
As a parent, you play a crucial role in protecting your children’s dental health. Educating yourself about harmful habits and taking proactive steps to address them helps ensure your little ones have healthy smiles that last a lifetime.
To visit Sprout and Bloom Pediatric Dentistry, call us today at 720-637-1760 to schedule an appointment or .