While many parents and caregivers know the importance of treating cavities and avoiding sugary foods, they are often surprised that common habits can affect oral health. This is why our pediatric dentist and our staff place a high priority on patient education. Following are a few habits and behaviors that can negatively affect oral health.
Using a Pacifier Too Long
While a pacifier is a great tool for soothing a baby, using one for too long can affect how teeth erupt through the gums. The constant pressure and force exerted when sucking on a pacifier can cause anterior teeth to jut too far outwards. We recommend weaning pacifier use as soon as possible as it can affect the occlusion.
Like pacifiers, the pressure and force exerted on teeth while sucking one’s thumb can affect the eruption and ultimate placement of teeth. Moreover, hands are constantly exposed to germs that can be transferred to the mouth. Our team encourages parents to intervene when they see their children sucking their thumbs – especially after the age of two.
Although juice may seem like a healthy option for a refreshing beverage, many juices contain far too much sugar. Sugar is a food source for bacteria. This means that when people drink or eat something sugary, bacteria will feed and colonize. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks will help starve harmful bacteria and reduce the risk for tooth decay.
Chewing on Inedible Objects
Chewing on pen caps, ice cubes, and other hard objects can permanently weaken teeth by wearing cracks in tooth enamel. While these may seem like nervous habits, chewing on inedible objects can lead to the need for restorations and tooth extractions.
Forgetting to Brush and Floss
Forgetting to floss or brush one’s teeth every now and then may not seem that harmful but the reality is that skipping oral hygiene can lead to the accumulation of tartar and plaque—substances that contribute to oral disease. Establishing good oral hygiene at an early age will also help prevent the development of disease in adulthood.
Call us today to schedule a checkup with our children’s dentists at Dental Depot.