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Oral Habits That Damage Your Child’s Teeth 

December 22, 2021

Dental professionals can help parents encourage their children to practice good oral hygiene, thanks to Lake Worth family dentistry. Unfortunately, kids pick up many habits that can lead to oral health issues down the road. If these bad habits aren’t nipped in the bud, they’ll sabotage everything you’ve taught your kids about proper oral care.

a girl who needs to stop biting her fingernails with the help of a Lake Worth Family Dentistry practice

Keep an Eye Out for These Bad Oral Habits!


Kids may start biting their fingernails at the age of three to cope with anxiety or boredom. Unless you help your child break this habit, it can lead to gaps in the front teeth and cracks, chips, and wear of the enamel. Additionally, bits of fingernails may end up scratching their gum tissues or getting stuck under their gums, increasing the risk of infection.

Since nail-biting worsens as kids get older, it increases the likelihood of bruxism or the involuntary grinding and/or clenching of teeth. Kids with braces who bite their fingernails are also at greater risk of losing teeth.

A reward system may motivate your child to kick the habit of nail-biting. You might also want to discourage biting by using bitter-tasting nail-biting nail polish. If these strategies are unsuccessful, ask your family dentist for other ideas.

Thumb Sucking

Although thumb sucking is expected and safe for babies, this habit should be discouraged as your child gets older. Over time, thumb sucking can interfere with how their teeth grow, the shape and roof of their mouth, and the development of their jaw. Unless your child breaks the habit of thumb sucking, they may have to undergo costly and uncomfortable treatments to treat malformed palates or fix misalignments.

Wrapping your child’s thumbs with bandages or making them use hand socks at night might help stop sucking. If these methods don’t work, you may ask your family dentist about possible medications or appliances to help your child break this habit.

A child visits a Lake Worth Family Dentistry practice

Looking for a Lake Worth Family Dentistry Practice?

Dr. Miguel Ferrer, DDS, has provided patients with the highest level of dental care possible for over two decades. If you’re ready to make an appointment, contact our office today.

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