Oral health is extremely important for children, because their teeth are just beginning to erupt, and bacteria now could mean a lifelong struggle with dental issues. Some bad dental habits increase children's risk for tooth decay and cavities, while others can cause them to need braces at younger ages. Try to stop your child from all of these bad dental habits.
Having a Bottle at Night
If your child is still an infant and drinking from a bottle, avoid sending them to bed with one. Bottles often become a comfort thing with preschool-aged children, even after they no longer need them. Due to the sugar content of whatever is in the bottle, this could lead to premature tooth decay. The last thing you want to do is have your child getting major dental work when they're not even five years old yet.
Sucking Their Thumb
Another thing younger children often do to comfort themselves is suck their thumb, but this bad habit affects their teeth formation. It can cause buck teeth, also known as an overbite. Even if their teeth are aligned properly when they're done growing in, your child might need braces when they're a little older to fix the overbite. It is best to stop the habit as soon as you notice it to avoid any unnecessary orthodontic treatment.
Accidentally Swallowing Toothpaste
While swallowing a little bit of toothpaste is to be expected the first few times your child brushes their teeth, keep a close eye on them and make sure it doesn't become a habit. Some young children get used to the taste of toothpaste and don't mind swallowing it. However, toothpaste contains fluoride, which can cause brown spots on their teeth if it leads to fluorosis. A large amount of toothpaste would need to be ingested, but it is still a good idea to stop this habit as soon as you can.
Drinking From Sippy Cups
Like many other habits, moderation is okay, but excessive use of sippy cups is not good for your child. Like using a bottle at night, sippy cups often contain sugary drinks, including juice or milk. This sugar sits on their teeth when using a sippy cup all day long, which can quickly lead to tooth decay. Instead of letting them have one all day, only give them drinks during meals and snacks. For the rest of the day, only give them water to rinse away the sugar from their teeth.
Talk to a dental office like Crest Hill Family Dental to learn about other oral healthcare tips for children.