Life's a Grind: Three Habits That Could Damage Your Child's Teeth

Your child's teeth provide so much more than just a beautiful smile. But if not properly cared for now, their teeth will be plagued with cavities, decay, chips and a variety of other problems. One of the main factors for unhealthy teeth in children are para-functional habits. These are habits that started out as involuntary actions that are habit forming. These habits have adverse and long-term affects all the overall health of your child's mouth. Below are the main para-functional habits that cause the most damage to your child's teeth and gums.

Thumb Sucking

If your child sucks on their thumb, this practice needs to be stoped immediately. Sucking on the thumb can change the entire structure of your child's teeth. It can also cause the teeth to grow in misshapen and awkward. If your child continues to suck on their thumb, this can cause the entire structure of their jawline to become deformed. This habit has been known to lead to a massive overbite. If your child continues to suck their thumb, the habit can lead to gum infections, which can turn into disease.

Nail Biting

Your child might start biting their nails for one of various reasons. The practice usually starts as a way for a child to comfort themselves when they are stressed or anxious about something. When a child is stressed, they need something that will keep their mind off of whatever is bothering them. Many children turn to nail biting. Nail biting can chip away at the edges of their teeth. Chips can change the structure in which your child's teeth grow in, causing them to grow in crooked. Nails are also full of bacteria. Once that bacteria is introduced to your child's mouth, it will make way for tooth decay and dental diseases.

Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth, which is called bruxism, affects many people. Bruxism can be caused by anger, frustration, or anxiety. It is common for your bottom and top teeth to hit each other occasionally. This happens when you eat or talk. However, bruxism makes your top and bottom teeth connect more often, which causes damage. This can cause chips and cracks in your child's teeth, and this weakens the enamel. It also makes the length of your child's teeth shrink and causes them to be more sensitive to cold drinks and food. On top of that, grinding teeth can also cause damage and deformity to your child's jawline. Once the jawline is damaged, your child is at risk for having TMJ when they are older.

There are several para-functional habits that break down the overall structure and health of your child's teeth. These daily habits won't only break down and weaken the enamel of your child's teeth but can also change the entire structure of the jawline and teeth . By knowing what para-functional habits are and how they affect teeth, you will be better prepared to help your child's teeth develop naturally and healthily.   

Talk to a dentistry such as DSW Dental for more information about helping your child avoid unhealthy habits.