How to Help Prevent Cracked Teeth in Children

Cracking a tooth is no fun, especially for children. A cracked tooth is not only painful, but it can make a child self-conscious about their appearance. Repairing a cracked tooth can also be costly. For that reason, parents should help encourage their children to take care of their teeth to prevent breakage. Here are some things you can do to help prevent your child from cracking a tooth:

Avoid Biting on Hard Foods

Many children enjoy eating hard foods, but they can be damaging to the teeth. Encourage your children to not chew on ice or hard candy, but to let them melt in their mouth instead. Nuts can also be a problem. Certain fruits with pits or hard seeds should be eaten carefully as well.

Wear Protective Gear

When your child engages in physical activity, have them wear a mouthguard or some form of protection to keep their teeth in good shape. If a child plays football or soccer, they likely already have to wear a mouthguard as part of their uniform requirements. However, other sports would benefit from wearing mouth protection, such as gymnastics or volleyball. If your child plays a sport, you should insist on a mouthguard. You never know when an accident can happen and cause a tooth to break or crack.

Don't Use Teeth to Open Items

Many people have the habit of using their teeth to open things. You may have even used your teeth to open a difficult package or to remove a tag from something. Try to avoid doing this yourself to model better behavior for your children. If you see your child using their teeth for anything other than eating, have them stop right away. This behavior can result in a one-way ticket to the dentist for a tooth repair.

Address Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, known as bruxism, is a condition many people have, including children. Many people grind their teeth when they feel anxious or nervous. Others grind their teeth at night without realizing they are doing it. If you notice your child grinds their teeth, especially at night, you need to take them to a dentist to get fitted for a mouthguard they can sleep in. Not only can teeth grinding damage and crack the teeth, but it can also cause jaw pain over time.

As always, take your child to their regular dental checkups to make sure their teeth are in good health. If there are any problems, they should be addressed sooner rather than later to prevent deterioration and possibly the loss of a tooth. Contact a local children's dentist for more information.