Habits That Jeopardize Your Child's Oral Health

Dentist Blog

Like adults, children can form habits that are detrimental to their wellbeing. Some habits may even cause damage to the teeth and gums. 

Here are several childhood practices that can jeopardize a child's oral health.


Some kids suck their thumbs throughout their childhood. The habit, which may seem cute at first, can cause the teeth to become misaligned. 

Many thumb-suckers suffer from buck teeth, a condition in which the central incisors of the upper palate jut out past those of the lower palate. Kids who suck their thumbs may also incur a crossbite in which the side teeth of the upper jaw do not align properly with those of the lower jaw. 

The misalignments caused by thumb-sucking can often be remedied with the proper orthodontic applications. However, parents could save their children the expense and discomfort of years of orthodontic treatments by helping the little ones break the habit early.

There are multiple ways to discourage thumb-sucking, such as placing gloves on the child's hands, coating the thumb with a distasteful substance, and rewarding the child whenever they avoid the habit. 


Nailbiting plagues children and adults. Children who bite their nails often have uneven nails that are extremely short. 

As a child nibbles at a fingernail, slivers of the nail material can become caught between in the teeth or may even pierce the gums. The material can trap particles of food and encourage bacterial growth. 

In addition, as the nail enters the mouth, the oral cavity is subjected to any germs on the nail surface. Thus, children who bite their nails may be more susceptible to communicable diseases. 

To discourage the nailbiting, consider placing gloves on the hands, painting the nails with an unsavory solution, or providing the child with a nice-looking manicure.

Bottle Use

Bottle use is appropriate for small infants. However, as a child grows, the youngster should be weaned as soon as possible. 

The use of a bottle encourages the bathing of the mouth in milk, juice, or other sugary liquids throughout the day. As the sugars cover the teeth and gums, the oral bacteria feed on the simple carbohydrates and release acids. The acids cause tooth decay and gum disease.

To avoid oral health problems from bottle drinking, children should be transitioned to cups. By placing water only in the bottles and offering cups with more palatable drinks, parents can speed up the weaning process.

For more information about maintaining your child's oral health, schedule a consultation with a pediatric dental clinic like Little Peoples Dentistry in your local area.


9 April 2018

Emergency Dental Care

The average dentist takes many client appointments each day and also deals with emergency situations on a regular basis. Dental emergencies are very common because people are likely to put off having tooth pain fixed until the pain becomes unbearable. Some people have anxiety about dental visits, and others are trying to avoid the expense of dental care. In either case, the end result is often a dental emergency. I have worked as a professional dental hygienist for many years and have seen all types of dental emergencies. I hope that this blog will help people identify potential emergencies before they become too serious and will allow people to know when to get help.