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Tips to Help Your Kids Break Bad Dental Habits

by Youth Dental

Tips to Help Your Kids Break Bad Dental Habits

As a parent, it’s natural to worry about your child’s dental health. While it is essential to teach your child the importance of good dental habits, sometimes it can be challenging to address certain aspects of oral hygiene, like breaking bad dental habits.

In this blog post, we will provide some helpful tips for parents who want to help their kids break bad dental habits, such as nail-biting, teeth grinding, and more. Let’s dive in!

1. Identify the Bad Habits

Before you address any bad habits, it’s essential to identify which ones your child is struggling with. Some common bad dental habits in children include:

  • Nail-biting
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism)
  • Chewing on objects (pencils, toys, etc.)
  • Using teeth as tools (to open packages, for example)

For more information on thumb sucking, read The Effects of Thumb Sucking on Your Child’s Teeth.

2. Be Patient and Understanding

Breaking a habit can be difficult for anyone, especially for children. It’s essential to be patient and understanding while working with your child to break their bad dental habits.

Make sure to provide lots of positive reinforcement and celebrate their successes. Encouragement will go a long way in motivating your child to continue making progress.

3. Provide Alternatives for Nail-Biting and Thumb-Sucking

If your child has a habit of nail-biting or thumb-sucking, consider providing them with alternatives that are safer for their teeth.

  • For nail-biters, try giving them a stress ball or fidget toy to play with when they feel the urge to bite their nails.
  • For thumbsuckers, consider using a special mouth guard or thumb-guard designed to discourage the habit.

4. Address the Underlying Causes of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding (bruxism) is often a response to stress or anxiety. Identifying the causes of your child’s stress and helping them cope can go a long way in breaking the habit. Some ways to reduce stress and anxiety in children are:

  • Spend quality time together as a family 
  • Encourage regular exercise and playtime
  • Create a calm and relaxing bedtime routine

For more information about teeth grinding, read What Parents Should Know About Teeth Grinding in Kids.

5. Model Positive Dental Habits

Children learn best by example, so it’s crucial for parents to model positive dental habits for their kids. Make sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly and make dental hygiene a priority in your household. This will not only teach your child the importance of oral health but also naturally encourage them to abandon bad dental habits.

6. Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, professional intervention may be necessary to break specific habits, especially when they have the potential to cause long-term damage to your child’s teeth or mouth. In these cases, it’s important to consult with a dental professional, such as the expert team at Youth Dental and Vision. Our experienced practitioners can provide guidance and support tailored to your child’s needs.

Encourage Good Oral Hygiene Habits

It is very important to help your child establish a regular daily dental care routine. This should include brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly. For more information about establishing oral hygiene habits, read 7 Tips for a Healthy Smile

It is also important to encourage them to eat a healthy diet. Limit sugary snacks and drinks and encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Developing good dental hygiene habits and eating a healthy diet will decrease their risk of tooth decay and other dental problems.

By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can help your child break bad dental habits and maintain good oral health. If you need more advice or assistance with breaking bad habits, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team at Youth Dental and Vision today! We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Pediatric Dentist Denver

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are part of a healthy dental care routine and can help prevent any problems from developing. To book an appointment at one of our 4 locations, call (303) 953-8801 or complete the online booking form. For the best kids dentist in Denver, trust Youth Dental & Vision.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kids Oral Health

How Often Should Children Brush Their Teeth?

It is recommended that children brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. This will help remove plaque and food particles from the teeth, which can cause cavities.

How Often Should Children Visit the Dentist?

The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. Regular dental visits are important to monitor the development of your child’s teeth and to catch any issues early.

What Are the Signs of Tooth Decay?

Signs of tooth decay include brown or black spots on the teeth, pain when eating or drinking, and persistent bad breath. If you notice any signs of tooth decay in your child, it is important to take them to the dentist as soon as possible.

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