We all have bad habits that we continuously try to break, some big and some small. But did you know there are poor habits that your child exhibits that may affect the future of their oral health? Try to avoid the following habits, as they may be detrimental to your child’s teeth.

First and foremost, never allow your child to neglect regular trips to the dentist. Routine checkups are crucial to your child’s oral health. A visit to the dentist twice a year is imperative, to make sure that your child is growing into a good set of teeth, and maintaining good oral health.

Drinking milk, juice, or other sweetened liquids out of sippy cups all day is also a bad habit to break. Continuous drinking of these liquids prevents your child’s natural salvia production from effectively washing away the sugars and acids found in the beverages. This damages the tooth enamel and encourages the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. You should also avoid giving your child drinks, other than water, before bed.

Your child should avoid swallowing toothpaste while brushing their teeth. The fluoride in toothpaste is beneficial to oral health and is a natural cavity fighter. However, we know too much of anything isn’t good. Too much fluoride can cause Fluorosis, a defect of tooth enamel, which creates white or brown streaks and spots on your teeth. Although this is a common condition, it can be avoided by consuming only the recommended amount of fluoride. If your child is not old enough to spit while brushing their teeth, try a fluoride free toothpaste.

Many kids go through a thumb sucking stage. But once their adult teeth grow in, it’s time to put the thumb down. Thumb sucking with permanent teeth can result in misalignment of teeth. The same rule applies for pacifiers.

The primary purpose of your teeth is chewing. Using your teeth to bite your nails, chew on pencils or, as opening tools are poor habits you want your child (and yourself) to avoid. These habits expose bacteria to your mouth and increase the chances of cracking, chipping, or breaking your teeth. This could also lead to jaw complications.

All in all, try to monitor your child for the above bad habits because they could lead to oral health issues down the line. Ensure that your little one’s oral health is in check as they grow up, and bring them to the dentist every 6 months.

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