So much goes into keeping your young children safe and happy, but part of this must be a focus on their oral health. Even children that still have baby teeth need to begin good habits such as proper oral hygiene and visits to the dentist at a young age. There might be a few mistakes you are making as a parent that you didn't even realize are bad for your child's teeth. Here are four bad habits to break in order to ensure your child's oral health is on the right track.
1. Thumb Sucking
Especially when adult teeth start to grow in, thumb sucking can lead to misalignment and issues chewing and wear down teeth. This might seem like a cute habit for babies and toddlers, but should be curbed as a child grows. Work with your child to break the habit and give them rewards and encouragement as they progress.
2. Night Time Bottles
Especially with infants, middle of the night feedings might seem like the best way to get your child back to sleep and get yourself some rest. Having children fall asleep with bottles can cause bacteria to build up and their mouth overnight. As a child grows and teeth start to come in, sleeping through the night after evening brushings is a must to keep teeth and gums healthy and curb cavities.
3. Sugary Drinks in Sippy Cups
There are many different fruit juices out there that tout they are healthy for kids, but it is a good idea to really read those labels for sugar content details. Sippy cups with sugary juices can be a bad habit for toddlers since the sugar content can wear down new teeth and cause cavities. Try to limit sugary drinks and replace these with water or flavor hints such as pieces of orange or cucumber.
4. Excessive Nibbling
If your child chews on pencils, pens, or their nails, this can be a bad habit that should be broken at an early age. This can wear down enamel on new teeth, causing sensitivity and can lead to cavities. Chewing and nibbling can lead to tooth grinding down the road as well. Warn your child of these dangers and try to stop bad habits from forming from the beginning.
Setting your child up for good dental habits at the young age will get them on the right track for a lifetime of good oral hygiene. Being a parent can be hard and you have to pick your battles, but some innocent mistakes can set your child up for dental issues. Work with your dentist to stay on top of habits and behaviors that can lead to dental problems.
For more information, contact a dentist near you such as Campbell Dental Centre Ltd.