Adverse oral habits are the one that are acquired by some children during growing age. Those bad habits can lead to serious problems in future if not corrected at the right time. Some of these habits can be corrected by the proper counseling of the child but some of these bad habits need help of the Dentist to correct by using suitable appliances. Lets discuss some common adverse oral habits that we see in our children very often.
1. Thumb Sucking: This is the most common adverse habit in our children. Prolonged thumb sucking creates a constant negative pressure in the mouth that leads to narrowing of dental arches, open bite, crowding of teeth and eventually effects the mechanism of mastication. This habit can be corrected by child counseling and also with the help of Orthodontic Appliances.
2. Mouth Breathing: Mouth breathing is also very common among the children. It can be habitual or anatomic. Anatomic mouth breathing occurs due to obstruction of the nose or other airway structure. That may require minor surgeries to correct. Mouth Breathing in children leads to Dry Mouth, Increased incident of caries, inflammation of gums, changes in lower facial profile.
3. Tongue Thrusting: Continues pushing of the front teeth with the tongue or the excessive pressure created by tongue on front teeth during swallowing is known as tongue thrusting. It can also be habitual or anatomic due to the extra large size of the tongue. This habit usually requires an appliance to done the correction. Tongue thrust can leads to Open Bite, proclination of anterior teeth, narrowing of dental arch.
4. Bruxism: Grinding of the teeth is called Bruxism. Usually this occurs during night time but some children also exhibit this habit during the day. This habit is directly related to the excessive functioning of the jaw muscles.
The adverse effect of this habit can be lowered by fabricating the mouth guard. Bruxism leads to excessive tooth structure wearing, sensitivity of teeth, tooth fractures, pain due to pulp exposures.
5. Nursing Bottle Caries: This is the most common adverse habit that is actually implemented by parents to the child. This feeding habit leads to early decay of children teeth especially the upper front teeth. We should never let our children sleep by putting the bottle in the mouth.
Parents should clean the child’s teeth every time after feeding either by brushing or even cleaning with wet cloth helps. Neglect at this point by the parents can lead to painful episodes in the children.
Dr. Surdeep Singh
Dr. Navdeep Kaur Sodhi