While it is important to maintain good oral habits in children, it is equally important to understand and break the bad habits. Going to bed with a bottle, thumb / finger sucking and swallowing toothpaste are some examples of bad dental habits in children.
Going to Bed With a Bottle
The result of sending a child to bed with a bottle of anything other than water is severe tooth decay (cavities). The sugar from the fluid in the bottle stays on the teeth for long periods of time causing the bacteria on the child’s teeth and the sugar to mix. This mixture forms a type of acid that eats through the enamel and makes cavities. Dentists sometimes use the term “bottle Mouth” to describe the mouth of a child that has been sent to bed repeatedly with a bottle. This is not an easy habit to break, but it can be done. If your child is taking a bottle to bed, try diluting the liquid down a little each night until the end result is just water.
Thumb / Finger Sucking
Thumb and /or finger sucking is a bad habit because it could cause the child to have buck teeth, which could eventually require orthodontic treatment. Most children will stop this habit on their own between ages 2 and 4, however, it is much easier to break any habit when it first begins.