3 Seemingly Harmless Habits that Actually Ruin Your Baby’s Teeth

Cute little girl sucking her thumbIt’s easy to be wooed by your baby’s littlest actions, from the way she innocently holds her bottle to the adorable way she sucks her thumb. Professionals warn, however, that most of your baby’s adorable habits can wreak havoc on her overall oral health down the road.

Of course, there are measures you can take to keep your baby’s oral health. Bringing your child to see the good-natured dentists from South Davis Pediatric Dentistry, for instance, can help form a lifelong habit of proper oral care. It pays, however, to nip these habits in the bud before they take a toll on your baby’s dental health. Here are some harmful habits as well as tips for dealing with them:

Teeth Grinding

You might think teeth grinding is common only among stressed adults, but bruxism is also happening to children who feel stressed and anxious or those who have new teeth coming in. It’s unlikely for bruxism in kids to become severe enough to require treatment, but if it affects her permanent teeth, ask her dentist for a possible solution, like a mouth guard.

Hanging onto the Bottle

It’s inevitable for a child who still drinks from a bottle to fall asleep with the empty bottle still in her mouth. When this happens, cavities may develop, which ultimately leads to tooth decay.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that toddlers transition to a sippy cup when they turn 15 months. Other experts, meanwhile, recommend introducing the sippy cup at your baby’s sixth month, so by the time she turns a year old, it’s gone for good.

Thumb Sucking

Kids suck their thumbs to soothe themselves, but if the habit lingers for too long, it may affect the way their jaws grow and lead to a crossbite or an overbite. You can help your baby dispel this habit through a finger guard, a cotton glove, or special bitter nail polish.   

When your baby turns one, bring your child in for regular check-ups with a pediatric dentist. A visit to the dental clinic is also vital when the first tooth erupts, so the dentist can rule out problems before they can cause concern.