5 Habits That Make Your Child Susceptible to Dental Problems

Posted by: Dr. Erwin Su, on June 20, 2013

Establishing healthy dental habits at a young age is important element in their lifelong oral health practices. But did you know that several common daily habits can contribute to dental problems in children? Check out these five habits that make your child susceptible to dental problems. Erwin Su DDS

Going to bed with a sippy cup or bottle
Baby bottle tooth decay is one of the most advanced forms of pediatric dental diseases that is seen in dental offices. Because liquids such as milk or juice contain natural sugars, extended contact time with the teeth will result in acid exposure on all surfaces. Areas such as this quickly become decalcified, resulting in severe tooth decay throughout the entire mouth. To break your child of this habit you can begin by replacing their drink with tap water.

Not drinking enough water
Expounding on the concept of milk and juices contributing to tooth decay, many children don’t drink enough water throughout the day. Water provides a natural cleansing action throughout the mouth. Reserve milk, juice or other drinks for meal times only, while offering water the rest of the time.

Frequent snacking
Growing children need plenty to eat, but choosing high carbohydrate or sugary snacks can produce high levels of plaque in the mouth. If snacking is done on a constant basis throughout the day, then plaque biofilm in the mouth increases. Offer fresh fruits and vegetables at scheduled snack times. This reduces long term exposure to the teeth while providing your child with a healthy snack that cleanses the teeth and massages the gums.

No help with oral hygiene
Until your child can tie their shoes, they probably can’t brush as efficiently as they really need to. Encourage independence, but follow up and brush your child’s teeth after they are done. Don’t forget to clean between; a toothbrush never touches these areas.

Extended thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking
Prolonged sucking habits can affect the way your child’s jaws bite together and the alignment of the teeth. If not discouraged, children can develop open bites, overbites and teeth that jet out, requiring advanced orthodontic treatment in later years.

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