How to Recognise the Bad Dental Habits in Your Child -- and How to Correct Them!
As a parent, helping your child stay healthy is one of your major concerns in life. Oral health, whilst sometimes neglected in young people, is just as vital as other aspects of health and wellness. To help your child employ good oral care habits, it's important that you're first aware of what the bad habits are. Keep reading to find out what three of the most common bad habits are -- and what you can do to correct them.
Extended Thumb Sucking
Whilst thumb sucking can be a tough habit to break, it's especially important that you make every effort to do so for the sake of your child's oral health. The position of the baby teeth has an impact on how the adult teeth grow in. This means that if your child sucks their thumb for an extended time, the odds of them having problems with front teeth protrusion or other alignment problems as an adult are higher.
The majority of kids outgrow thumb sucking at age 2-4. If your child doesn't outgrow it naturally, help them stop with the help of verbal encouragement, small non-food rewards, and distractions like their favourite toys.
Snacking on Sweets
Everyone loves snacks, and kids are no exception to this. Unfortunately, the type of snacks that children tend to like best often include lollies, fizzy drinks, and other poor choices. When kids have high-sugar food and beverages between regular meals, it's especially bad for their teeth because they generally won't brush again until after the next regular meal.
When left on the teeth, sugar can turn into acids that rapidly start eating away at the tooth enamel. Limit your child's sugar intake to the occasional sweet treat after the evening meal -- and make certain that they brush straight away afterwards.
For many children, it's a habit to have a cup of milk or juice just prior to bedtime. Unfortunately, this means that your child may often go to sleep with the sticky residue -- the remnants of sugars in the drink -- still on their teeth. As your child sleeps, acids can cause considerable harm to their teeth -- but this damage is completely avoidable.
Whilst it might incite some resistance at the beginning, try to transition away from bedtime beverages. You can start by replacing the milk or juice with water. It might actually surprise you how quickly your child accepts this change, as the bedtime beverage is often as much about comfort and routine as it is about being thirsty.
If you put the three tips above into practise, you'll be doing a great favour for your child's future oral health. See your child's dentist for a check-up soon -- they'll be quite impressed with the positive changes that you've made!