doctor consuling with the child

There can be a lot of temptations as a child. Sugary sodas and chewy candies, skipping a brushing session every once in a while, and other factors can lead to some problematic issues with the teeth. Before you know it, your child is battling cavities and discomfort that could have been avoided!

When it comes to your smile, you only get one, so it’s important to take care of it and promote proper oral hygiene at a young age. Here are some common bad habits that could be hurting your kids’ teeth.

Eating Chewy, Sugary Foods

Foods loaded with sugar not only put your child on the fast track to tooth decay, it can also lead to problems, such as diabetes, obesity and more. Chewy candies, especially, can stay stuck between your child’s teeth for hours, leading to the formation of cavities. This is why kids need to be taught proper brushing and flossing techniques, so if they do indulge in these treats, they’re cleaning their teeth correctly and avoiding serious issues. It’s important to remember to limit your child’s consumption of these items to special occasions, so that they can keep their teeth (and their health) in tip-top condition.

Thumb Sucking and Teeth Grinding

Although it can appear to be harmless and just natural for many kids, thumb sucking can lead to problems if not addressed. Thumb sucking can cause issues with the alignment of the teeth and the development of the jaws, making this seemingly harmless habit a big issue for kids as they get older.

Teeth grinding normally occurs at night while you sleep and can sometimes happen due to stress and anxiety. Other factors that can cause teeth grinding include:

  • Abnormal bite
  • Crooked teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Sleep disorders

Wearing a mouthguard at night is usually prescribed to help correct these issues.

Not Wearing a Proper Mouthguard

When your child plays sports, namely contact sports like football and basketball, failure to wear a proper mouthguard can cause harm to their teeth. Teeth can become damaged or lost by a single hit to the mouth, so it’s important to find a mouthguard that fits properly and make sure your child wears it regularly. Regular wear to practice and games can help prevent injuries from occurring in these rough sports.

Not Adopting a Proper Oral Hygiene Routine

Parents need to ensure their kids are focusing on oral hygiene at a young age to prevent problems later. This means brushing and flossing twice per day, using mouthwash and being thorough in their routines. For many parents, teaching their kids to brush using an electric toothbrush is beneficial. This way, kids can learn proper brushing time, speed and pressure for maximum effectiveness. Many electric toothbrushes have timers and pressure sensors, and they vary in price.

Turning Bad Habits Around

The good news is, bad habits can be fixed and good habits can be instilled, especially in young children. Teaching kids the importance of taking care of their smiles at a young age can help them carry these good habits and banish the bad habits into adulthood, reducing their risk of tooth decay, gum disease and other serious health concerns. So, if your child has some bad habits or is lacking in some of the good ones, try making some slight tweaks so they can keep their smile shining for years.

The team at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists is ready to help! Call (843) 4-BRACES to learn more about orthodontic options for your child.