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Bad Biting Habits and Helping Your Child Avoid Them

Young boy bitting his nailsEven while baby teeth are developing, kids can already start to develop bad biting habits. These habits can start in childhood but have the potential to progress into adulthood, which can affect your child’s long-term dental health. You can prevent your children from developing these habits by knowing what to look for and how to avoid bad biting habits.

Bad Biting Habits

Below are a few of the most common bad biting habits that children develop:

  • Nail-Biting – Not only is nail-biting unsanitary, but it can also be dangerous for your child’s teeth. A child with a nail-biting habit can crack their teeth, causing fractures or chipping of the teeth. This habit can be an indicator of stress, so make sure to keep a close eye on what could be causing your child any anxiety.
  • Chewing Pencils – Once school starts, a nervous chewing habit may be translated to the chewing of pencils or pens. There are products that have been designed to go on the end of pencils for kids to chew. This is better for their teeth than the pencil but shouldn’t be considered a long-term solution. This will allow you time to figure out the problem and address it.
  • Biting Clothes – Biting the neck fabric and sleeves of clothing is a common problem in childhood but should stop after a few years. When you notice your child biting his or her clothing, try to direct their attention to something else. Distraction is a good way to more easily break childhood habits.

Bad habits that develop in childhood can be much harder to break in adulthood. If you notice your child exhibiting any of the above behaviors, it’s important to work on breaking them early. Many biting problems are due to stress or anxiety, so try and determine your child’s stressors or triggers.

If you’re concerned about your child’s dental health and would like to make an appointment for a dental cleaning and a checkup, please contact Little Rockies Pediatric Dentistry today. Our child’s dentist is located in Parker, Colorado.

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