Even though you may be teaching your child great dental habits at home, he or she can easily pick up detrimental habits from friends and others. Here are a few negative dental habits that your child may develop and ways to discourage them:
Munching on Candy
Even if you don't keep candy and other sweets in your home, your child will likely access sweet treats from friends or even other family members. The sugar content in candy is a great food source for oral bacteria.
Candy promotes decay because as the bacteria in your child's mouth feed, they excrete bacterial acid that can weaken and dissolve tooth enamel. This dissolution of your child's tooth material results in dental decay.
Instead of candy, if your child craves sweets, sugarless gum is a better option. To ensure that your child keeps gum handy, buy packs of sugarless gum and place one in his or her pocket before he or she starts the day. Each time your child wants candy, he or she can place a piece of gum in his or her mouth.
It is important for the gum to be sugar-free so that it does not promote decay. In addition, using flavors such as cinnamon can help further protect your child's oral health. Cinnamon has antibacterial properties to help eliminate some of the oral bacteria in your child's mouth. In addition, sugarless gum that is sweetened with xylitol can also help promote good dental health because the xylitol helps stop oral bacteria from sticking to tooth surfaces.
Biting on Non-food Objects.
Some children bite on pens, pencils or fingernails. Inedible objects can place a lot of bite pressure on the teeth and result in your child's teeth being chipped or cracked. To discourage your child from biting on objects, give the child a stick of gum or an object that he or she is less likely to place in his or her mouth such as a small toy car to occupy the youngster's hands.
Not only is the sugar present in sodas detrimental to your child oral health, the acid content of the liquids is also damaging. Sodas are heavily acidic and can dissolve tooth enamel as bacterial acid can. It is best to offer your child alternative fluids, such as water or tea.
Both water and tea are less acidic and have beneficial properties. Tea contains polyphenols that can be anti-microbial. In addition, fluoridated tap water contains fluoride to help make your child's teeth more resistant to acid.
To learn more things you can do to promote your youngster's good dental health, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist in your area.