Bad Kid Dental Care Habits

From thumb sucking to wiping their noses on their sleeves. Let's face it - kids have a lot of bad habits. While some of these habits amount to little more than lack of social grace, others can lead to more serious health problems. A few can even result in severe dental problems. Here are three of some of the most serious bad kid dental care habits leading to dental problems in children!

Thumb and Pacifier Sucking

Sure, it isn't attractive when your little one sucks his or her thumb, but child dental care issues (that result from prolonged practice not to mention concerns about the spreading of germs) can be quite serious. Chronic thumb and pacifier sucking could cause the child to have buck teeth, which would require orthodontic treatment down the line. Most children will stop this habit on their own between ages 2 and 4, but there's no guarantee. Try to intervene early on by instructing your child not to continue with the habit. If all else fails, there are certain topical products that leave a bitter taste in the child's mouth, dissuading the behavior.

Going to Bed With a Bottle

So often we imagine babies snuggled up in a crib, clinging to stuffed animals and a bottle. Like thumb sucking, some children tend to suck the bottle while asleep, leading to the same orthodontic issues listed above. What's more, putting any liquid apart from water in the bottle allows tooth- and gum-destroying bacteria to rest in the mouth for extended periods of time. Your best bet is to skip the bottle altogether. If that isn't possible, dilute the liquid a bit more each night with water until all that remains is water.

Swallowing Toothpaste

Toothpaste manufacturers have gone to great lengths to provide consumers with a product that not only fights plaque and gum disease, but also tastes great - sometimes a little too great. Children, particularly young children, are prone to swallowing toothpaste when brushing. It's often the result of using too much toothpaste. The problem? Too much fluoride is ingested into the child's body, causing a condition known as Fluorosis. Fluorosis allows white or brown spots to form on the teeth in severe cases.

This is actually a bad habit that is fairly easy to break. Try spending some time with the child explaining that a pea size drop of toothpaste is adequate and teach them how to brush, rinse and spit like a pro.

Understanding and breaking these habits early will help you and your child establish a good oral hygiene regimen. If you have questions about how to properly care for your child's teeth, or if you think your child's bad dental habits have resulted in harm, schedule an appointment with a kid dentist!

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Dr. Michael J. Rechter

Dr. Demetrios Tsiokos - Periodontist

Dr. Jinkyu Im

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Long Island Dental Excellence
100 N. Centre Ave. Suite 402
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
General Info: (516) 766-0122
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