Monday, September 24, 2012

Twelve Bad Dental Habits for children

Children often adopt some bad dental habits that may cause serious trouble in future. Wrong dental habits of kids may lead to cavities, toothache, plaque or crooked teeth problem at an early age. Curing a dental problem can be a painful task for parents as well as kids. However, converting bad dental habits into a good one is easier with patience and tact. Some of these habits are discussed here below:

Thumb sucking or finger sucking
During the first year of the life, thumb sucking is not viewed as a bad habit or problem. It is a common self-comforting behavior among children. Many of them stop thumb sucking on their own by the age of five while some others refuse to give up. Due to emotional problems a small percentage of kids continue this bad dental habit even when they grow quite old. Thumb sucking can cause dental problems such as buck teeth wherein the upper front teeth are protruding because of the habit. It requires orthodontic treatment.

Breast feeding at night
When the baby's teeth begin to appear, breast feeding at night can cause harm because the breast milk contains sugar. The sugar gets deposited on the baby teeth and may result in tooth decay. It is preferred to clean the mouth of the baby after the feeding to avoid dental problem.

Bottle feed during the night is not safe  

Bottle feeding throughout the night can cause cavities in babies as the sugar from the fluid mix up with the bacteria on the baby's teeth. It can also cause discoloration of the teeth if the mouth is not properly cleaned after feeding milk or juice at night time.

Use of pacifier for long periods
Giving pacifiers to toddlers for long periods can obstruct the teeth and jaw development of the child. Therefore, it is important to break this dental habit in children as soon as possible.

Swallowing fluoride toothpaste
Kids often swallow their toothpaste while brushing their teeth. It can cause brown spots on the teeth and fluorosis as the toothpaste contains fluoride. Teaching them to spit out the toothpaste can help in avoiding this problem.

Sippy cups
Sipping Sippy cups all day is a bad dental habit like bottle feeding. It can cause teeth decay. Therefore, do not let your child stick to Sippy cup continuously for hours if you wish to divert dental problems.

Sugary drinks are not safe either
Kids as young as one year olds drink colas and sugary drinks in abundance on daily basis. It is a major damaging habit for the newly developed teeth of the kids. Parents need to curtail the habit and induce good eating habits in kids. Kids with sweet tooth are at higher risk of oral problems.

Chewing the pencil/ pen
Sometimes children chew up the other side of the pencils and it s actually a damaging habit for their teeth. Gnawing pencil or pen brings in bacteria in the mouth leading to tooth problems. Also, it damages the surface of teeth.

Brushing too hard
Brushing the teeth too hard can erode the enamel of the teeth and harm the gums. Therefore, parents need to supervise the tooth brushing of kids.

Tooth brushing for less time
Kids do not have patience to brush their teeth for two to three minutes which is again a bad habit. Tooth brushing for lesser time can cause oral hygiene problems like plaque on the teeth, yellow teeth, bad breath, etc. Brushing the teeth only once is also a bad dental habit among children. It is compulsory to brush teeth at least twice a day.

Sharing tooth brushes
Siblings when share their toothbrush also share bacteria and infections. Hence, this habit should be discouraged and discontinued to avoid problems.

Unclean toothbrush
Rinsing of toothbrush after use is equally important. Kids pay less attention to cleaning and rinsing of brush which may cause growth of bacteria on the brush.

Maintaining dental health of kids is not that tough. Keep a vigil on the above mentioned dental habits of kids to ensure healthy oral hygiene and perfect smile on their face.



  1. A million thank to the author of this site for spending more time and effort to share this very nice and interesting info with us, I am sure your idea is more useful for me and to my kids as well.

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  2. Thank you so much chidrendentistsca for your whole hearted appreciation... It has boosted my confidence and spirits to go on and on with kids related issues:))

  3. Have a variety of ready vegetable salads and sliced fruit for your kid. A great number of fruit and veggies are available in summer, and make your child choose healthy snacks instead of all those chips and chocolate bars.

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  4. Calcium is a key element for maintaining good dental health. Consuming dairy products will give you strong teeth and healthy gums. Canned salmon with the bones are also a great source of calcium. Be sure to see your dentist on a regular basis.