One piece of advice I give parents of very young children is to steer their kids away from bad dental habits. Poor habits start at an early age and if they aren’t corrected early enough, big dental problems can erupt down the road.
Also read: Harmful Dental Risks of Fast Food
A bad dental habit is much more than not brushing your teeth and flossing. It’s a habit like:
- Crunching on ice – This can cause small cracks in the tooth’s enamel.
- Clenching or grinding teeth – Clenching the jaws and teeth puts pressure on your teeth and jaw muscles while grinding not only puts pressure on them, it wears away at the enamel and can cause your teeth to have an unnatural flat look, sensitivity and pain.
- Going to bed without brushing – After eating and drinking all day, be sure your child brushes his teeth before bed. Many parents don’t worry about their child’s teeth if they fall asleep without brushing, but it is very important.
- Not brushing in the morning – Our mouths house more germs during the night than any other time of the day. Getting rid of the germs and bacteria first thing in the morning is very important for dental heath and all around heath.
- Not flossing - The gum disease gingivitis can be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly.
- Opening/holding things with your teeth – Never use your teeth to hold things, open things, or anything they were not intended for.
- Bottles in bed - Do not let your child fall asleep with a bottle in is mouth or give them drinks throughout the night with the exception of water. The drink will remain on their teeth until morning causing tooth decay.
- No mouthguard - When playing sports, your child should wear a protective mouthguard. Thousands of teeth are broken each year and many could have been prevented if a mouthguard had been worn.
Also read: 5 Ways to Wreck Your Teeth
Do you have questions about your family’s oral health and habits? Talk to us about them at your next visit.