As a parent, you know how important it is to set a good example for your children. That includes not only the way you speak and act but also how you take care of your teeth. If you're putting your child's oral health at risk, they're more likely to grow up with the same habits. Here are some oral health habits that can damage your child's oral health.
When your child uses a pacifier, you are likely happy that they are finding comfort. However, you may be unaware that your child is developing a harmful habit. A study shows that children who use pacifiers are more likely to have teeth with misalignment issues. These children also had more problems with their facial structure. Children who continue to use the pacifier past the age of three may also experience speech delays as they reach school age due to improper jaw development.
Thumb sucking, or onychophagia, is a natural reflex in children that helps them feel secure and relaxed. However, if thumb sucking continues beyond the ages of three and five, it can damage your child's teeth. The constant pressure and movement from thumbs in the mouth put children at risk for malocclusions or misaligned teeth. It can also affect speech development if they continue past the age of six.
Sometimes a child might develop a habit of thrusting their tongue out, which often leads to discomfort in their mouth. Tongue thrusting can cause damage to your child's smile. It can lead to a number of issues, including chipped and cracked teeth and crookedness in the front of their bite. When left untreated, over time, it can cause the teeth to drift out of their natural alignment. This can lead to cosmetic issues and problems with the jaw joint. It can even cause TMJ disorder if it occurs frequently enough.
When your child skips the dentist, it puts his or her oral health at risk because the dentist can detect problems early on that can be fixed quickly. Additionally, if your child has morning breath or bad breath, it could be a sign of decay. If teeth are not cleaned regularly with daily brushing and flossing, plaque will eventually turn into tartar which will harden into calculus. This can only be removed by a dentist. This can, in turn, lead to bigger problems such as gum disease and tooth loss.
When your child eats sugary foods and drinks, their teeth can have an acidic reaction that can wear away their protective enamel layer. This can allow bacteria to get underneath this layer, where they can cause cavities to develop as well as cause gum disease. Instead of feeding kids candy or soda, you should give them healthier snacks like nuts, cheese, fruits, and vegetables.
Another way a child's oral health can be damaged by too much sugar is when they drink carbonated beverages. These drinks can not only damage the protective layer of teeth, but they can also stain them and make brushing more difficult. If you want to give your child a drink other than water, you can give them milk, plain tea, or fruit juices.
When your child chews on ice, they can damage their tooth enamel. The cold temperature of ice can irritate the sensitive tissues in the mouth and cause toothaches. Additionally, the sharp pieces can cause chips or cracks in teeth that can spread deeper over time and require restorative dentistry treatments to repair.
Chaffee Pediatric Dentistry provides solutions for all your child's dental problems. We are located at 1239 East McKellips Rd #107, Mesa, AZ 85203. You can reach us at 480.739.2993.