Teeth Hurt in the Cold? It is Not Normal

4 Habits That Harm Kids' Dental Health

Every morning and night, you lovingly command your kids to brush their teeth.  You also schedule regular checkups for them at the dentist.  Despite your vigilance about their dental hygiene, they may be engaging in behaviors that can harm their teeth.  If you have young kids at home, consider helping them break the following 4 destructive dental habits.

Chewing on Hard Objects

Do your young kids constantly plop hard objects into their mouths in order to chew on them.  Some kids regularly chew on their:

  • Pencils
  • Pens

  • Eating utensils

  • Finger nails

  • Blocks

While this habit is common among youngsters, it can be harmful to their oral health.  Some of the problems associated with chewing on these items include:

  • Tooth erosion – Tooth erosion occurs when a person's tooth enamel is broken down.  Tooth enamel is the hard outer surface of your teeth.  Constantly biting hard objects can cause premature tooth erosion in children.

  • Illness – When kids chomp down on hard objects, they unknowingly cause germs and bacteria to enter their mouths.  These destructive substances can cause unwanted illnesses such as the common cold or the flu.

  • Dental trauma – Your young children may be constantly on the move.  Sadly, when children fall with hard substances in their mouths, serious dental trauma can occur.  For example, broken teeth or puncture wounds may result.

Consuming Toothpaste

Do you often marvel at the big messes your kids make while engaging in daily activities such as eating or brushing their teeth?  While your children may look funny with foaming toothpaste all over their mouths, eating it can be detrimental to their oral health.  The reason stems from the addition of fluoride in most over-the-counter toothpastes.

When consumed in small amounts, this mineral is beneficial to your kids' teeth.  Fluoride can help prevent cavities.  However, if your children swallow too much of this substance, it can cause brown and white patches to develop on their teeth.

If your young kids are still in the toothpaste swallowing stage, shop for a toothpaste that doesn't contain fluoride.  To ensure that your young ones still consume the proper amount of this mineral each day, talk with your dental professional about fluoride supplements.   

Grinding Teeth

Have you heard your kids grinding their teeth?  This common occurrence is prevalent among children.  In fact, as many as 15% of kids participate in this destructive behavior each day.

If your kids grind their teeth, they might be subjecting themselves to future:

  • Chipped teeth

  • Tooth erosion

  • Jaw pain

  • Headaches

  • Earaches

  • Sensitive teeth

Kids usually stop teeth grinding on their own before they reach their teenage years.  Unfortunately, irreversible dental damage might already be done by then.  If you suspect your kids grind their teeth, make an appointment with their trusted dentist today. 

Dentists often prescribe a custom made mouth guard for kids who grind their teeth.  By wearing this protective appliance, your children can protect their teeth and jaws from unnecessary damage.  Besides obtaining a mouth guard, lowering your kids' stress levels and caffeine intake might also prevent teeth grinding.  When kids are relaxed, they tend to grind their teeth less.   

Thrusting the Tongue

Before swallowing, some kids unconsciously thrust the top part of their tongues onto their lips.  This improper method of swallowing causes the front teeth to withstand an enormous amount of pressure.  This undue pressure often misaligns the front teeth resulting in an overbite. 

If a child's tongue thrusting habit is severe, speech issues can arise.  If you notice that any of your kids thrust their tongues when swallowing, contact your dentist immediately.  This dental expert may recommend that your children see a speech pathologist.  Often, this type of individual can help kids break this harmful pattern by teaching them a new method of swallowing.

Because your kids' dental health is important to you, you probably want to do everything in your power to safeguard their teeth for the future.  By encouraging your children to break the aforementioned 4 harmful habits, you can protect your young ones' oral wellbeing.  To learn more about these habits or other worrisome behaviors affecting your kids' teeth, contact your local trusted dentist today.