Understanding Abnormal Dental Habits in Children and the Importance of Control

As parents and caregivers, we play a pivotal role in shaping our children’s habits and behaviors, especially when it comes to their oral health. However, it’s not uncommon for children to develop abnormal dental habits that can have long-lasting effects on their growing smiles.

From thumb-sucking to tongue-thrusting, these habits can disrupt the natural development of teeth and jaws. In this blog, we will discuss about some of these habits, understand their impact on oral health, and explore why it’s crucial to take timely measures to control them.

Common Abnormal Dental Habits in Children


Infants have a natural instinct to seek solace and stability through thumb-sucking. However, continued thumb-sucking after the age of four or five has been linked to increased rates of tooth decay. Constant stress on erupting teeth might cause them to shift, which can result in problems like an open bite or an overbite.

Pacifier Use

Excessive pacifier usage, like thumb-sucking, can damage a child’s dental and facial development. As soon as a child’s permanent teeth start to come in, the pacifier should preferably be put away.


A child who thrusts his or her tongue forward against the front teeth does so when swallowing, talking, or just relaxing. An open bite occurs when the upper and lower front teeth never come together, and it can have serious consequences for both speaking and eating.

Mouth Breathing

Chronic mouth breathing may be brought on by allergies or swollen tonsils, for example. It may affect the growth and development of the face, resulting in an elongated face, a narrow upper arch, and maybe even crooked teeth.


Although nail biting is not directly related to oral health, it can lead to crooked or worn front teeth. Nail biting can also spread germs from the hands to the mouth.

Importance of Controlling Abnormal Dental Habits

Preventing Malocclusions

Having bad dental habits can lead to malocclusions or misaligned teeth. Problems with the bite may affect all aspects of daily life, from biting and chewing to speaking and even breathing. Reducing these behaviors at an early age can spare you from significant orthodontic work later on.

Facilitating Proper Development

When it comes to teeth and facial structure, childhood is prime time. When bad habits go unchecked, they might cause problems with the jawbone and teeth’s proper development, which may necessitate orthodontic treatment in Hyderabad later on.

Protecting Self-Esteem

Appearance becomes more important to kids as they become older. Problems with one’s teeth brought on by bad habits can have a serious influence on one’s sense of self and one’s ability to engage confidently in social situations.

Reducing the Risk of Dental Complications

Abnormal habits can contribute to dental complications such as cavities, gum problems, and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. By addressing these habits, you can minimize the risk of oral health problems down the road.

Establishing Lifelong Oral Hygiene

Teaching children to control their dental habits sets the foundation for good oral hygiene practices. Children who learn to care for their teeth early on are more likely to carry these habits into adulthood, leading to better oral health outcomes.

How to Encourage Healthy Habits?

Open Communication

Talk to your child about the importance of healthy oral habits and how abnormal habits can affect their teeth and smile. Use age-appropriate language to explain the concepts.

Positive Reinforcement

Praise your child’s efforts in breaking the habit and reward milestones. Positive reinforcement can motivate them to continue making progress.

Distraction Techniques

When kids are bored or stressed out, they could develop some peculiar habits. Providing them with distractions like a stress ball or a creative outlet can help them refocus their energy.

Professional Guidance

If abnormal habits persist, consider consulting an orthodontist. They can provide tailored strategies to address the habit and monitor your child’s oral health.

Lead by Example

It’s common for kids to pick up bad habits from their caretakers and parents. Set a good example for them by taking care of your teeth and not doing anything that you wouldn’t want them to copy.

Wrapping Up

As we have seen, improper dental habits in children can have serious consequences for their oral health, thus it is crucial to treat these behaviors as soon as possible.

We at Kigo Dental know how difficult it may be for both parents and their children to break bad dental routines. Help your kid break free from harmful behaviors with compassionate treatment, individualized solutions, and expert advice from our team of skilled pediatric dentists and orthodontists in Hyderabad.

Take the first step towards a healthier, happier smile for your child. Contact Kigo Dental today to schedule a consultation and set them on the path to a lifetime of oral health success.

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