One of the most effective ways to build strong oral hygiene habits in your child is to start early. Catching bad habits that negatively affect dental development is just as important as instilling proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Help your child avoid future dental complications by breaking the following unhealthy habits:
Many infants and young children go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. While this may comfort your child, baby bottle tooth decay can cause irreparable harm to the teeth and gums. Over the course of the night, the sugars in milk and juice turn into a sticky network of plaque and bacteria that causes cavities. The pressure from sucking a bottle can also alter the shape of the jaw and teeth over time, creating what many pediatric dentists call a “bottle mouth.”
Thumb sucking is a common habit for children around preschool age, and many parents find it difficult to break this habit after years of repeated thumb sucking. The pressure of vigorous sucking disturbs the shape and placement of the teeth and the jaws. Front teeth gradually move forward, creating a bucktoothed appearance. Thumb sucking can also cause a child’s jawbone to narrow and reshape, which in turn causes malocclusions. Difficulty chewing, speech problems, and misaligned teeth can all ensue if the habit of excessive thumb sucking isn’t stopped.
If your child is brushing on a daily basis, make sure that he or she isn’t ingesting the toothpaste. This can be especially difficult if the toothpaste is an enticing flavor, such as bubblegum. The fluoride in the toothpaste can result in a condition called fluorosis, which can cause white and brown spots on the teeth over time. Avoid these complications by showing your kids that they only need a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, and that they must spit it all out afterward.
Pave the way for a lifetime of great oral health by contacting the pediatric dental care staff at Best Kids Dentist. We help both parents and children understand the steps they can take to promote healthy dental development. Learn more about our Brooklyn-area practice by calling (718) 491-5300.