Thumb sucking is a habit that many children develop. Most children outgrow this habit by the age of 4. But if the child continues to suck their thumb after the age of 5, they may have an oral health concern called "open bite". .
Thumb sucking can be harmful to a child's teeth because it causes misalignment of the teeth and can lead to problems with their bite. This position can also be bad for speech development and make eating and chewing difficult. Thumb sucking in babies and children is not unusual and is usually caused by the child feeling insecure, uncomfortable, or distressed. Most children will stop this behavior by the age of five when they begin to develop more permanent teeth. However, if your child does not stop on their own, this can cause problems with the alignment of the teeth. Thumb sucking can also cause problems for the muscles in the tongue as well as the jaw. When the jaw is misaligned due to continued thumb sucking, it can lead to problems with the joints in the jaw that connect the lower jaw to the skull. These frequent strains can eventually lead to TMJ disorders that can make chewing, talking, and even yawning painful and difficult. If your child is doing this behavior, you should talk to them about stopping and provide positive reinforcement for good behavior.
If your baby or toddler uses a night bottle, their teeth are bathed in sugar all night long. When left on the gums all night, decay-causing bacteria can multiply rapidly and produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel. To avoid cavities, don't let children take their bottles to bed with them. When they wake up at night hungry, soothe them with a bottle filled with plain water rather than milk or juice. Also, limit their exposure to fruit juices so that the teeth are never exposed to sugar for long periods of time.
Nail biting is a bad habit that can seriously damage your child's teeth. This bad oral habit can cause a variety of dental problems, including problems with your child's bite alignment. If your child habitually bites their nails, it can cause chips and breaks in their teeth. Your child could break or chip a tooth from nail biting and then need to call an Emergency dentist for an emergency appointment. A broken tooth can be painful and may cause your child a lot of discomforts. Other problems that can arise from nail biting include mouth sores, gum recession, and even an infection of the gum tissues or soft tissues of the mouth. If you notice your child is prone to nail biting, try to discourage it as much as possible.
Children grind and clench for a variety of reasons. Stress is an obvious one, but others can include certain medications or even crooked or missing teeth. If you suspect your child is grinding their teeth during the night, schedule a consultation with our dental office right away. We may want to fit him or her for a night mouth guard to protect his or her teeth and prevent them from wearing down too much.
Some children use too much force when brushing their teeth. This can lead to receding gums and root exposure. This can lead to gum disease and cavities. If your child is experiencing these side effects from toothbrush abrasion, make sure he or she is using the right type of brush for their mouth. You may also want to supervise their brushing until they are old enough to brush on their own. It is also important to teach kids how to properly brush their teeth so that they develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Call your pediatric dentist for more information about taking care of your child's teeth. If it has been six months since you or your children visited the dentist, schedule an appointment with us today. Visit us at 3895 W 7800 S #203, West Jordan, UT 84088. Contact us at (801) 282-6901 or visit our website to book an appointment with us.