Tooth Decay: Three Bad Habits that Could Be Damaging to Your Child’s Teeth!

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The average child has all their baby teeth by the time they’re three years old. By that age, your child is already setting the habits that will save their teeth or destroy them in the coming years. It’s important to teach proper dental hygiene early on, so those little teeth are protected.

Biting Your Nails

Anywhere between 30-60% of children bite their nails, and for many, that habit lasts into adulthood [1]. This habit can result in a number of problems, but when it comes to dental health, children who bite their nails are more likely to grind their teeth. This may cause tooth pain and wearing of the enamel, among other issues. It can be quite difficult to stop nail biting, but it is very detrimental to your child’s health if they continue it.

Chewing Ice

Children love ice and often enjoy crunching away on it, particularly on a hot day. However, this is actually a very bad idea as the hard ice may cause damage and tiny cracks in the tooth enamel. All it takes is one tiny flaw, and bacteria and acid can begin to attack, creating more damage and eventually decaying the tooth.

Snacking On Sugary Treats

Sugar causes tooth decay, and while sipping on sodas and eating candy isn’t great for anyone, it’s particularly bad for brand-new teeth. Small children shouldn’t be exposed to sugar on a regular basis, and these treats can easily become a major problem.

Sucking Your Thumb or Fingers

Babies can suck on their thumbs or fingers with no issues, but it becomes a problem once their adult teeth appear. Children who suck their thumbs once their permanent teeth come in run the risk of causing their teeth to grow out of alignment. Over time, this can cause jaw pain, trouble chewing, and irregular teeth. By the age of four, you should aim to have no fingers in the mouth.

Not Having Regular Dental Visits

Your dentist can detect problems long before they become too serious. If you wait until your child cries from tooth pain, it may be too late to save their tooth. It’s far better to make regular appointments and prevent the decay in the first place.

Three Good Habits That Will Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

Now you know what to avoid, but what should your child do to keep their teeth healthy?

Brush Regularly, Not Aggressively

Ensure your child brushes their teeth daily. Kids should brush their teeth for around two minutes, at least twice a day [2]. The simplest way to ensure this happens is to set a good example by doing the same thing yourself. Set an alarm or play a two-minute song while you both brush.

Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Healthy foods that are rich in calcium and fibre are excellent for your teeth. Children should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, to stay healthy and keep their teeth strong. Yogurt, cheese, and milk are all fantastic sources of calcium and casein, both of which help build strong teeth. These are also ideal for reducing the acid levels in your child’s mouth to prevent tooth decay.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

Regular visits to the dentist help keep your child’s smile cavity free. They will also become used to having a dentist check their teeth, which means they’re more likely to ask for help in the future if needed.

Build Good Dental Habits Early

The habits your child builds now will have a lasting impact on their dental health as they grow. If you want them to enjoy a healthy smile, plan to teach them proper dental hygiene and limit sugar in their diet. Promote healthy eating and brushing. But it’s also important to take your little ones to the dentist regularly to prevent cavities before they appear.

Has your child seen a dentist recently? Contact Boon Dental today to make an appointment.