Children often have a bad habit of using their teeth for more than just chewing. Whether they simply put things in their mouth that they shouldn’t or they use their teeth to open something dirty, when children use their teeth improperly they are at a higher risk of tooth damage or tooth loss.
A damaged tooth whether because it has cracked or is fractured is one of the top causes for tooth loss. Premature tooth loss can affect your child’s bite and the condition of their permanent teeth. Be sure to remind kids that teeth should only be used to chew or to smile and correct any gross or risky behavior before it can cause a problem. Watch for these bad habits that children have when it comes to using their teeth.
Opening Bottles, Bags Or Packaging
Both kids and adults will use their teeth as tools to help them open something. Whether it’s a plastic bag or a bottle cap, teeth should not be used to open things. Using teeth to open packaging or bottles can damage teeth by scraping enamel or even causing a tooth to crack.
Holding Or Cutting Items
Teeth are meant to hold and cut food, that’s essentially what chewing is. But they are not meant to hold or cut items other than food. When children use their teeth to hold an item that is too hard or to heavy it can put stress and pressure on the tooth causing it to crack or even fracture. A cracked tooth can be very painful, but it can also cause other dental problems. Holding something in their teeth is also dangerous as it increases their risk of oral or facial injuries and choking.
Chewing On Ice
Chewing on ice is another common habit among children and adults that can cause damage to the teeth. The hardness and coldness of ice combined with the pressure from chewing can damage tooth enamel, cause pain, or even crack a tooth.
Fingernail biting is another bad habit that parents should watch for in their child. Biting their fingernails at a minimum will wear down their teeth and increase the risk of tooth loss. Fingernail biting can also make children more susceptible to bruxism, or teeth grinding. Teeth that have become worn down or damaged can chip or crack easier. Nail biting can also put a child’s gum at risk of damage such as scratching, tearing, or infection. It’s no secret that children do not always wash their hands well, which can result in bacteria trapped under their fingernails. When they bite off nails, this bacteria enters the mouth and can spread to other areas of the body.
Just as using teeth to open a bottle can cause damage, so can using teeth to crack open a nut. Teach your children how to safely use a nutcracker or purchase nuts that have been pre-shelled in order to help your child avoid a hurt or cracked tooth from biting down too hard on a nutshell.
To schedule your child’s dental cleaning and exam, call our office at Adaven Children’s Dentistry today at (702) 492-1955. During this time, our friendly staff can also help you address any risky dental habits your child may have.
Adaven Children’s Dentistry
2843 St. Rose Pkwy Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89052
Phone: (702) 492-1955