Wearing braces is such a common part of childhood for many people growing up that preventing the need for them isn’t often treated with a great deal of importance.
But there are things you can do during your child’s development that can help prevent a higher level of complication when it comes to the position of their teeth and their bite alignment.
Our team at Smiles by Dr. W & Dr. R in Boca Raton, FL wants to help you know how to encourage your child’s healthy teeth and bite development so any orthodontic treatment they may need in the future can go more smoothly.
4 Ways To Protect Your Child’s Developing Smile
You do all you can to make sure your child is happy and healthy. That includes teaching them about proper nutrition, the value of enough sleep, and making good decisions about their own oral health and hygiene.
In that spirit, here are four ways you can help protect your child’s developing smile!
#1 – Instill Good Dental Habits Early
One of the best things you can do for your child’s developing smile is to instill good dental habits as early as possible.
The sooner your child understands the importance of keeping their teeth clean, the more likely good oral hygiene and health will become second nature to them into adulthood. It also helps them avoid complicated orthodontic treatment later in childhood due to issues like tooth decay.
That means making brushing and flossing a regular part of their daily routine, monitoring their technique and helping them improve as they grow, and keeping routine cleanings and exams at the dentist.
#2 – Protect Their Baby Teeth
Some people may assume that since baby teeth will eventually all come out, it’s not really a big deal if they come out too early.
This is definitely a myth! Losing a baby tooth before the adult tooth is ready to take its place, your child’s surrounding teeth will naturally begin to shift toward that empty space. This can lead to crooked teeth down the road.
One of the best ways to protect your child’s baby teeth from coming out too early is to make sure they wear a customized athletic mouthguard if they participate in sports or intense physical activity. You can get one right here in our Boca Raton, FL dental office, in fact!
#3 – Don’t Let Them Become Nail Biters!
Actually, this one can be thought of more broadly than just with nail-biting. That’s because any undue stress on their baby teeth can pose problems down the road for their smile. Too much sustained pressure from habits biting their fingernails can make their baby teeth move into problematic positions and affect their overall development.
#4 – Avoid Pacifiers Or Letting Thumbsucking Become A Habit
Easy for us to say, right? We’re not the ones losing sleep trying to soothe a baby or toddler! But the fact is, as tempting as it is to indulge the self-soothing tactics of pacifiers and thumbsucking, these habits can set them up for bite problems as they develop.
It requires a lot of willpower and diligence, but do all you can to keep thumbsucking from becoming a habit and to wean them off a pacifier as early as possible. Waiting until well after their baby teeth start erupting poses a threat to their bite and jaw development and could make future orthodontic treatment more complicated.
Schedule An Appointment
Here’s a bonus tip for you! Another way to protect your child’s developing smile is to bring them to Smiles by Dr. W & Dr. R for early orthodontic intervention!
We’ll make sure their bite is developing in a healthy way, and we’ll step in to make any potential orthodontic treatment later in their development goes more smoothly.