Breaking bad habits as early as possible will help ensure your child has a healthy and functional bite. We know that we want to teach our kids good habits at an early age, especially when it comes to their health. When our pediatric patients visit us for their cleaning appointments, we often review oral hygiene instructions with them.
We want to make sure they’re brushing and flossing properly so they can have the skills they need to reduce their risk of dental diseases throughout their life. What if a child has a bad habit, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting? Our pediatric dentist in Brandon, FL can help with that, too.
Poor dental habits can impact kids not just during their childhood but also into adulthood. For example, if a child rarely visits a dentist, they may fail to see the need to do so when they grow up. Similarly, if they haven’t been taught how important dental home care is when they’re little, they can have a hard time developing those new habits when they’re older.
Over time, they’ll likely start to develop dental decay and gum disease that can ruin their teeth, leading to expensive restorative treatment plans or losing their teeth entirely. Children are like sponges. Now is the perfect time to break bad habits and start developing better and healthier dental habits.
Here are the most common habits we see in our pediatric patients.
Many children suck their thumb. Unfortunately, doing so can adversely impact how their baby teeth and adult teeth come into their mouth. Some children end up with an open bite, which can make it hard for them to chew their food or speak. Without intervention, extensive orthodontic treatment may be needed to correct the child’s bite.
What is tongue thrusting? It’s a condition in which a child pushes their tongue against their front teeth while they’re talking, sleeping, or swallowing. When they do this, they aren’t using the face, jaw, or mouth muscles properly. Babies do this often, but by the time a child is six years old, they’ve learned how to use these muscles.
However, some children don’t develop this skill. Tongue thrusting is a form of orofacial myofunctional disorder and needs to be corrected or else it can lead to dental and speech problems.
Dr. Derek Busciglio wants to help your child break their bad habits. Doing so can protect the health of their teeth, and avoid expensive treatments later on in life to correct the damage! Our pediatric dental team can recommend ways you can train your child at home to break bad habits. But what if those home remedies don’t work? Here are some ways Dr. Busciglio can help.
We can fabricate an oral device that fits onto the roof of the mouth. It can be removable or fixed. The device stops the suction action of thumb sucking. Additionally, it puts a barrier between the child’s thumb and the roof of their mouth. Since the child can’t feel their thumb, they don’t get the pleasure sensation and will eventually stop sucking their thumb.
A tongue crib can be fixed or removable. The device fits onto the roof of the mouth and has a gate of sorts that a child’s tongue can touch. Every time they touch it, they’re reminded not to push their tongue against their teeth.
The habits we develop at a young age can stick with us throughout our life. Good habits help us protect our health and do things that make us happy. Likewise, good dental habits that your child develops now will help them have a healthy, beautiful smile into adulthood.
As your child grows, try to nip bad habits in the bud. If you need some help, we’re here for you. We can provide dental devices and tools that make establishing good habits easy. From wearing a sports guard while participating in school sports activities to brushing and flossing every day, we will work with you and your child to find the best ways to protect their teeth and keep their smile beautiful throughout their life.