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5 Things Your Child’s Dentist Never Puts in Their Mouth

April 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — kids-dentistry @ 3:44 pm
Closeup of young girl biting her nails

As a parent, you want to help protect your child from harm, including painful and potentially traumatic dental emergencies. The good news is that implementing good oral hygiene best practices – including brushing each morning and evening for a full two minutes – can go a long way. Plus, you can take it a step further by learning five things your child’s dentist never puts in their mouth.

1. Their Fingernails

Current research estimates that upwards of 60% of children bite their nails. Unfortunately, this habit can negatively affect their smile in several ways. First, nail-biting introduces the bacteria on their hands and underneath their nails into their mouth and digestive track. Second, the pressure to their teeth can result in noticeable chips and cracks. That’s why parents are encouraged to gently break this habit with positive reinforcement, like giving them a toy for a week of refraining from biting their nails.

2. Hard Candies

There is one main reason hard candies are detrimental to your child’s oral health: there’s no good way to eat them! If your child sucks on them, their teeth and gums will be exposed to sugar for extended periods of time. If your child bites into the candy too early, then they might fracture a tooth in the process. Therefore, dentists avoid treats like lollipops and jawbreakers, and they encourage their patients to do the same.

3. Whole Lemons

Lemons are packed with nutrients, which means they are a great addition to nearly every well-balanced diet. However, whole lemons are extremely acidic and can leave your child’s teeth vulnerable to cavities (which can result in further damage if left untreated). For this reason, it’s recommended that children don’t bite straight into them. Instead, you can dilute a small amount of lemon juice into a glass of water. Bonus tip: give them a straw for additional protection to their teeth!

4. Other People’s Toothbrushes

Did your child forget to pack their toothbrush for a sleepover with a friend or while visiting family out of town? Do not let them use someone else’s toothbrush, even yours! Not only are the bristles home to numerous bacteria, but research has shown that this can spread cavities as well. So, although it may seem inconvenient, it’s worth bringing them their toothbrush or buying them a new one.

5. Pencils or Pen Caps

It’s not uncommon for children to chew on their pencils or pens while they work. Unfortunately, this is another habit that can lead to a chip, crack, or another dental injury. Instead, offer them a healthier alternative, like chewing on a piece of sugar-free gum.

About the Practice

With a children’s general dentist, a pediatric dentist, and an orthodontist in-house, our team is here for all of your little one’s dental needs – from six-month checkups and braces to dental emergencies. Plus, we have lunchtime, evening, and weekend hours available, which makes keeping their smile happy and healthy significantly more convenient. If you want to learn more about how to protect them from dental emergencies or you’d like to schedule an appointment for them, visit our website or call (860) 224-2419.

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