As a top pediatric dentist office in Utah, we at Walker Pediatric Dentistry see a lot of cracked or chipped teeth. These often happen due to factors outside a child’s control, but in some other cases, they’re due to thoroughly preventable actions.
As a parent, you can be a big help in preventing these kinds of issues from ever taking place. A big part of this comes by teaching children that the teeth are not tools to be used for any purpose but eating – here are a few common uses you should steer them well clear of at an early age.
It’s always tempting to use the teeth as an extra set of hands, but this simply is not what they’re meant for. Holding items with the teeth is dangerous – a child can slip and fall, resulting in serious oral injuries that may require surgery. Remind them to be patient and protect their mouth from harm.
There aren’t too many glass bottles that children will be drinking out of, so this is often a minor concern, but if they’re into mineral water or one of the other rare child products that come in a glass bottle, they must learn early never to try and open this with teeth. This is one of the most likely processes to cause a cracked tooth, and the hard metal surface can also scrape away at enamel. If your child is drinking from a glass bottle, just be safe and open it for them.
Many nuts come with hard shells that could be cracked by teeth, but this should never be done. This will often leave a tooth fracture. Teach your children how to use a metal nutcracker, or steer them away from nuts with hard shells.
Children are always tempted to use the teeth to tear tape or cut the string and other items, but you have to remind them that the teeth are not scissors. Trying to cut things with the teeth exposes them to harder surfaces, and the pressure they’ll need to cut many of these things is far greater than normal chewing pressure – this puts a strain on the teeth, which can lead to a dental emergency.
For more on keeping children away from cracks and chips, or to learn about any of our dental services, speak to the pros at Walker Pediatric Dentistry today.