Dental care should ideally begin in early childhood in order to later avoid your kid’s visit to the dentist for serious dental problems. It is not enough for children to adhere to a regular cleaning routine. Parents have to be mindful about so many factors that can affect their children’s oral health.
A lot of children suck on thumbs or pacifiers as they find the habit comforting. It can get even worse if a child is anxious or upset. This seemingly harmless habit can actually affect your kids dental health. Parents should try to make sure that this habit doesn’t stick for long as it can lead to serious dental issues such as:
- Constant sucking of thumbs or even a pacifier can lead to an open bite, opening in the front teeth.
- Continual sucking motion could create an overbite, the front teeth to protrude outward as well as sometimes the lower teeth to shift a bit backward.
- Nonstop sucking motion could cause Posterior Crossbite, which constricts the upper arch and makes the front teeth shift from their positions to their sides or at times into the lower arch.
The problem with sucking the thumb or pacifier is that it is not easy to make kids stop. In fact, it is not easy to make kids do anything that they don’t want to do! Usually kids discontinue this habit on their own with age. If it stops before their permanent teeth begin to make appearance, at about age 5, then you can expect that the sucking habit won’t affect the growth of new teeth that much. If the habit goes beyond this stage, then it could lead to serious dental issues and you should see your kid’s dentist.
Another problem that begins usually in childhood is the habit of teeth grinding. Medically termed as Bruxism, this again is one habit with roots in a stressful environment. Change in residence or school, stress at home or anything could trigger this habit in kids. Another medical reason could be pressure in the inner ear during nighttime, which makes a child take to teeth grinding to relieve the pressure.
It is not easy to determine the cause, and professional help is imperative. See your kid’s dentist to determine the actual problem before it causes serious dental issues. A mouth guard is usually the prescription to halt the wear and tear of teeth from grinding. Mostly the habit of teeth grinding ceases to exist after a certain age, say about by the age of seven or in extreme cases between the age of 9 and 12.Author’s Profile: Grace is a dental expert working with Kid’s Choice Dental – a center which takes care of your child’s complete dental needs. She also writes on dental health topics for kids and has extensive experience in the field.