Adults should know about the habits that can damage our teeth – biting our nails, not brushing our teeth correctly or using our teeth as a pair of scissors when we can’t open something.
Children, however, don’t always know that a bad habit could be causing damage.
Here are some of the more common things that could have a detrimental effect on your child’s teeth.
1. Dummies and thumb-sucking
Sucking is a natural and soothing reflex in babies and toddlers, and finger or thumb-sucking often starts before children are even born. After they are born, thumb- or dummy-sucking can be comforting and, in many cases, can help them (and you) fall asleep.
However, if it continues for too long, it can sometimes interfere with the growth of their mouth and/or the alignment of their teeth.
► Read Also: ORTHODONTICS : Serial extraction of primary teeth
Young children have soft malleable bones and when there is an object (e.g. their thumb) that is frequently in the way, the bones and soft tissues may start to shape themselves around it, creating a gap where the teeth and/or lips don’t meet up as they should.
Dummies don't usually cause too many issues but you can sometimes see shape changes of the upper lip with prolonged dummy use.
Dr Simon Reeves