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Bad Habits Affect Oral Health

Your child’s oral health is greatly dependent on the first set of teeth that he grows. Many parents ignore the importance of these baby teeth, thinking that they will be replaced with their more permanent alternatives in the near future. If you avoid taking care of your child’s primary teeth, however, it could cause problems with your child’s bite, speech and even his self-esteem well into the future. Watch out for these common bad habits in order to preserve your child’s oral health.

Stop the Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is a normal method for pacification when a child is born. For the first six months of his life, it is perfectly acceptable, but after that point, it can start to do damage to your child’s mouth. Most dentists will not be overly concerned about thumb sucking until a child is a toddler, at which point the habit can be hard to break and cause permanent damage to the bite. Letting thumb sucking at a great intensity continue for a long period of time can cause your child’s teeth to be pulled forward, causing subsequent issues with his bite, his ability to talk and can even make him more prone to tooth decay because the teeth are harder to reach to get fully clean.

Avoid Nail Biting

Kids, especially nervous kids, are prone to nail biting. They use it as a method to control their nerves or simply a habit out of boredom. If your child continually bites his nails, it could cause several issues including chronic illnesses and uneven wear and tear on his teeth. This uneven wear can cause future issues with your child’s bite and even his speech. In some instances, if the nail biting is intense enough, your child’s jaw could be affected, resulting in TMJ or chronic headaches.

If your child has the bad habit of sucking his thumb or biting his nails, it is important to find ways to stop the habits as early as possible. Your dentist is the perfect place to start as he can provide you with tried and true solutions to these problems that help children to stop without unnecessary stress. When you stop your child’s bad habits early enough, you can prevent serious issues occurring to his oral health that can damage not only his ability to eat and talk but also affect his self-esteem well into his adulthood.


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