bad habits for teethYou know how important it is to teach your kid great oral healthcare habits. From brushing twice a day to flossing to taking them in for checkups and cleanings, helping them maintain a healthy smile is essential. It is also crucial to help them avoid bad habits that are seemingly fine but can actually harm their teeth. In today’s blog, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist and orthodontist talks about various habits that can damage your child’s teeth.

Sucking Their Thumb

Although thumb sucking can be expected for kids until they are about three, it can actually hinder their mouth’s development if they keep doing it much beyond that age. It can lead to changes to their teeth and jaw, causing the former to jut out too far forward and have large gaps. Moreover, it can also cause a high-arched palate that affects the jaw and prompts speech issues. If left unchecked, this can even lead to your kid needing orthodontia as they get older.

Brushing Too Hard

While your child needs to be brushing regularly, it is also important that they know proper techniques. In particular, they should not brush too hard. This can wear away their enamel and even damage their gums. In addition to teaching them the right technique, you can also provide them with a soft-bristle brush.

Don’t Let Them Chew Ice

If your child ever chews eyes, suggest that they stop doing so. It can crack their teeth and cause them to be misaligned. We know it can be hard to police this, but do what you can. If they can’t seem to break the habit, providing them a straw can minimize the likelihood that they chew on ice.

Opening Items With Their Teeth

Some kids love to open their snacks and other packaging with their teeth but try to make them just use their hands or scissors. It can damage their teeth and can even knock them out if they misjudge the strength of what they are trying to open. If enough damage occurs, they may need dental crowns to help repair their teeth.

Nip Teeth Grinding In The Bud

If your child grinds their teeth, it is advisable to address this as soon as possible — before it becomes persistent and evolves into bruxism. Grinding can be a byproduct of stress or jaw misalignment so be sure to bring this up with their dentist should it continue. If it doesn’t seem to stop, their oral healthcare provider can craft a nightguard to minimize any damage caused by grinding and clenching.

Contact Us To Learn More About Preventing Bad Habits

If you have any questions or want some tips on helping your child maintain the healthiest possible smile, please do not hesitate to reach out. You can schedule an appointment by contacting Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600. We look forward to seeing you and your family soon.