A lot of children tend to develop bad oral habits. Most of them are not even aware that they are doing something wrong. That is why parents should be familiar with these habits and know how to prevent and eliminate them. With the help of dentists, each parent should educate their kid, and teach them the difference between right and wrong. The most common bad oral habits include bruxism, biting nails, biting on hard objects, thumb sucking, common sugary snacks, carbonated drinks and more.
Sucking on Thumb and Fingers
This is a very common bad habit that is associated with many malocclusions in dentistry. A lot of parents are not aware that sucking fingers can lead to very serious problems with their kid’s teeth. That is why they only see it as a temporary phase that will probably pass. That is the case, but only up until a certain age. If the sucking continues to happen after that it impacts the normal growth and development of the jaws and teeth. This bad habit can result in protruded frontal teeth or a “buck” tooth appearance. The skin on the thumb or finger will be sensitive, red and damaged. That is how you can recognize the cause. Also, many kids can suck on their blankets, pillows or clothes.
Parents need to notice this bad habit and eliminate it in the early stages. Your kid’s dentist will be able to help you and advise you on how to treat the thumb sucking. Different techniques work for different kids. Putting something in their hands, such as a stress-ball can be very helpful. They will concentrate on the ball, and forget about putting the finger in the mouth. You have to teach them constantly that what they are doing is wrong and explain the consequences of the bad habit. There are also special orthodontic appliances that are used to treat the changes and eliminate the habit at the same time.
Chewing Hard Objects
A lot of children develop a bad habit where they chew on different hard objects. For some of them is a pen, hard candy, ice or many other things. Since kids are not aware that they are doing something wrong, you should be the one to guide them. If the chewing happens on daily basis, it will lead to serious problems with the development of the teeth. Because of the constant pressure, some of the teeth will not grow enough and will stay impacted in the socket. If we are talking about baby teeth, they can cause damage to the permanent ones that are already present in the bone of the jaw. Also, hard candies are very harmful to the teeth. They contain a lot of sugar, and a high sugar intake leads to caries.
First of all, you have to explain to your kid, why this bad habit is so wrong. Next thing to do is avoid giving them hard candy. If you need further help, always contact your dentist.
Brushing Too Hard
It is very important for your kids to know how to properly brush their teeth. This has to be taught at a very early age, with the help of dentists. They have to know the right moves, and not to brush aggressively. That can cause damage to the tooth’s substances and also to the gums. There is a huge choice of toothbrushes available on the market. Kids can get brushes that are specially made for them. They have fun designs and will motivate them to brush regularly. The most important thing that you have to pay attention to, is that you buy a soft-bristled toothbrush. That way you will prevent any damage from excessive brushing and brush too hard. You always have to educate your kind and explain the importance of proper and regular brushing.
Sodas and Sugary Snacks
Kids really enjoy drinking sodas and eating sugary snacks. These two are very common bad habits that really affect their oral health in a very bad way. The sugar that is their main ingredient is the number one cause of tooth decay. That is why children have to be taught from an early age to avoid this type of food and drinks.
Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching
These two conditions are known as bruxism and they can affect both kids and adults. If you notice that your child is doing that, you should immediately consult with their dentist. If it is only a temporary habit, then it shouldn’t leave any permanent damage. But if it’s been going on for a longer period of time, there will be consequences. The grinding and clenching can cause permanent damage to the teeth, including teeth wear, chips, fractures and more. Other symptoms include headaches, earaches, facial pain, pain in the joint and jaw.
Bruxism should be treated by a dentist. Usually, they recommend mouth guards and splints that are placed in the mouth. These appliances help to prevent any further damage.
Nibbling on Nails
Biting nails is placed high on the list of bad oral habits. A large number of kids do bite their nails and have a hard time eliminating the habit. It can cause a lot of damage to the teeth and jaws. First of all, it can lead to chipped and fractured teeth. Also, a lot of kids face sensitivity and pain in the oral cavity.
There are several things that you can do to get rid of this habit. You should keep your kids hands away from its mouth at all times. A stress-ball can be very helpful in most cases. Any other item that is pulling his attention away from the mouth will do the job. Also, there are many special nail polishes with bad taste, that you can use. Always educate them and let them know what they are doing wrong. Try explaining the consequences of the bad habits. Warn them each time you see them with their hands in the mouth.