dental apparatus at the dentist

Bad Dental Habits That Can Harm Your Child’s Teeth

We all want our children to achieve optimal dental health. We often think that brushing, flossing and limiting the intake of sweets is enough. However, there are seemingly innocent habits that can cause oral problems. Some can cause tooth decay, pain, bad breath or even early tooth loss.

This is why it pays to know which bad habits can cause such issues. Wonder which habits can harm your child’s dental health? Four of them are as follows.

Thumb sucking or prolonged pacifier use

Many children love to suck on their thumbs or pacifiers. These can give them a sense of comfort and emotional security. However, if you find your child nearing five years old and they still enjoy thumb sucking or their pacifiers, this can cause dental issues.

Overbite, misaligned jaws and difficulty in pronouncing some words can happen. They may even need to wear one of the orthodontic devices or appliances – depending on the dental issue to correct the problem.

To avoid such a problem, try to wean your child from thumb sucking and pacifier use as early as possible.

Crunching on leftover ice

Some children (and even adults) enjoy eating leftover ice from their favorite drinks. This may be a refreshing habit, but it can lead to microscopic cracks on your teeth. Over time, these cracks will grow bigger. You may have already chipped a small bit of your teeth while munching on some ice cubes.

To help children break such a habit, it’s best to give them chilled drinks instead – minus the ice. Drinking from a straw and placing their drinks in a non-spill cup that is not transparent is also a good idea.

woman brushing her teeth

Brushing right after a meal

Regular brushing can indeed help fight dental cavity. The thing is, when you feed your children acidic foods, brushing right after is a big no-no. The reason is that this pushes the acid they ate or drink further and deeper into their teeth.

It would be best to wait at last half an hour after ingesting acidic foods before telling your kids to brush their teeth.


Nail-biting is a common habit in children. Some bite on their nails when they feel anxious, scared or nervous. Some also bite their nails out of boredom, curiosity or habit. The thing is, nail-biting is not only hygienic – but it can also cause several problems.

It can increase the risk of infection and cause your ingrown to grow. It can also lead to jaw dysfunction or even end up having a Habit-tic deformity. Setting small realistic goals is the first step in helping your child stop the habit. Find out the main reason why they often bite their nails.

Give them another activity to keep their fingers busy and divert their attention from biting their nails.

Tongue thrusting

Such a habit can also lead to an overbite. When you often push your front teeth with your tongue, this can push your teeth out of their natural position. This can also lead to improper speech development. One of the best ways to make your child drop the habit is by seeking help from a speech pathologist.

These habits may seem harmless, but in reality, can cause serious dental problems in the future. Take note that brushing and flossing are not enough. As parents, we know our children better. We should take note of their habits and preferences as these can either be good for their health or cause problems in the future.

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