Helping Kids Kick Their Bad Biting Habits!
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Helping Kids Kick Their Bad Biting Habits!

A young boy biting his nails

Bad biting habits often start in childhood but can potentially follow your kids into adulthood. If these habits aren’t broken, they can damage your child’s long-term oral health. Prevent your children from developing these harmful habits by being aware of what to look for and how to avoid bad habits.

Bad Biting Habits in Childhood

  • Chewing pens or pencils – Now that school is back in session, nervous habits may begin to present by excessively chewing on pens or pencils. There have been products developed recently, which fit over the ends of pens and pencils for kids to chew on and won’t damage their teeth. This shouldn’t be a long-term solution but can allow your kids to keep their teeth intact while addressing the problem. 
  • Biting his or her nails – Nail-biting is incredibly unsanitary, but it’s also hazardous for your child’s dental health. Kids with nail-biting habits can cause chipping, cracks, or fractures to their teeth. Nail-biting is a notoriously difficult habit to break, so encourage your kids to quit sooner rather than later. 
  • Chewing on clothing or fabric – Biting the neck, sleeves, or hems of shirts and sweaters is a common childhood habit and should stop after a few years. Unfortunately, this is a habit that can also damage your child’s teeth. If you notice your kids chewing their clothes, gently redirect their attention. Distraction is a great way to break bad habits. 

Habits that are rooted in childhood will be much for difficult for your child to break in adulthood. If you notice these problems now, it’s important to address them early! Many of the above biting habits can be due to stress and anxiety, so try to determine your child’s triggers or stressors.

If you’ve noticed bad biting habits and are concerned about your child’s oral health, please contact Little Smiles of Delaware to make an appointment. Our kids' dentist in Columbus, Ohio, is here to help!

Posted on Sep 14, 2020

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