What To Do About Chewing Habits

Are you beginning to notice that your child is developing some chewing habits that you are not sure how to address? Perhaps you are having trouble deciding whether the new behavior warrants any concern or if it’s something your child will grow out of. When it comes to anything you think might negatively affect your child’s smile and oral health, we always encourage you to speak up and ask us your questions. At the very least, we can dismiss the issue, so you feel better about things. Or, we may offer some helpful suggestions, so you can continue to safeguard your little one’s grin. Learn more about what to with some helpful information.

Common Habits and Problems

You might notice that your child has a tendency to bite his or her fingernails. If this is an occasional, isolated occurrence, you don’t need to worry too much about your child’s oral health. However, if your child is habitually chewing on fingernails or other objects, such as pencils, it’s important to address the habit. You see, chronic chewing can aggravate bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), may damage teeth, and can even stress jaw joints. For this reason, we also suggest keeping your child from developing snacking habits that include chewing on ice or other very hard foods – or from tearing open packages with teeth.

How To Proceed

First, remember not to become too panicked. These habits are easy to address and will not lead to serious damage to oral health as long as you schedule a visit to speak with us. Fortunately, a quick appointment is all it takes to explain the potential drawbacks of chewing habits and what we can do to help protect your child’s smile from long-term damage. For instance, we may suggest protection with the use of a nightguard to keep teeth and jaws safe.

filed under: General Dentistry, Tips/Advice