Teaching Good Habits: 7 Tips from a Pediatric Dentist in Kearney on Brushing and Breaking Thumb Sucking Habits–Do your kids struggle to brush their teeth? Kids frequently see flossing and brushing their teeth as a duty. To ensure that your children have strong, healthy teeth as adults, you must take good care of their baby teeth. As a pediatric dentist in Kearney, we have put together some useful advice for promoting a child’s healthy dental practices.

pediatric dentist in Kearney

Fun Toothpaste and Toothbrush

Teeth in children are a little more sensitive than those in adults. Make sure to buy toothpaste made for kids when you go shopping for your child’s toothpaste. In addition to being less toxic if accidentally swallowed, kids’ toothpaste also has less fluoride. On newborn teeth, too much fluoride exposure will result in fluorosis, and little white patches. Additionally, toothpaste made for children tastes better, which will aid in promoting healthy oral practices.

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As for the toothbrush, our pediatric dentist in Kearney recommends letting your child pick out their own. This will help make them excited to brush their teeth, instill a sense of independence, and make brushing their teeth feel less like a chore.

pediatric dentist in Kearney

Set an Example

As a children’s dentist in Kearney, we always tell parents how important it is to set an example when it comes to brushing their teeth in the morning and at night. Children learn by example, so make sure that you teach your child how to brush their teeth properly. Always show enthusiasm when you brush your teeth and provide lots of positive feedback when your child brushes theirs.

pediatric dentist in Kearney

View Teeth Brushing as a Game

If you struggle to get your child to brush their teeth, our pediatric dentist in Kearney suggests taking advantage of your child’s playfulness and try to help them view teeth cleaning as a fun game. One easy way to do this is to turn on a song while they brush their teeth and let them know they can’t stop until you turn it off. The best way to make your child view brushing their teeth as necessary is to start at a young age.


pediatric dentist in Kearney

Reward Your Child

Rewarding your child for brushing his or her teeth is another approach to make it enjoyable. Allow your child to put a sticker on a calendar every time they brush their teeth, for example. They receive a reward after completing a week’s worth of brushing. This can involve selecting a piece of candy, a little toy from a treasure chest, or a board game for family game night.

It’s essential to get your child into a routine of brushing their teeth regularly, as well as breaking the habit of thumb sucking. While brushing is essential for good oral health, thumb sucking may cause negative effects on dental development that should not be ignored. Pediatric dental specialists in Kearney, MO provide helpful tips on encouraging children to brush their teeth and also offer guidance for parents who are looking for ways to help their child break the habit of thumb sucking.pediatric dentist in Kearney

Thumb sucking is an automatic and natural infant soothing behavior that often continues into toddler years. While many children grow out of sucking their thumb on their own, some have a more difficult time stopping. There are a few reasons why a child may have trouble growing out of thumb sucking. One being it may reduce their anxiety, or they were never encouraged to stop by an adult. However, there are a few negative effects of thumb sucking that pediatric dental specialists in Kearney, MO want parents to be aware of when it comes to dental health.


Misaligned Teeth

Any children’s dentist in Kearney will tell you that the first negative effect of thumb sucking is that it can easily misalign teeth. For instance, it may cause an overbite, which is where the front teeth protrude out. Another problem that may occur includes overbite issues, where the bottom teeth slant inward. Luckily, these problems can be fixed with braces from a children’s dentist in Kearney, later on. However, it will cost more and require the braces to stay on longer.

pediatric dentist in Kearney

Speech Problems

Thumb sucking or using a pacifier for too long can also affect speech development. According to the best pediatric dentist in Kearney, speech problems are likely due to the open or overbite that develops from thumb sucking. Additionally, thumb sucking also causes the tongue to push forward through the teeth, resulting in a lisp or difficulty pronouncing certain letters.

pediatric dentist in Kearney

Mouth Issues

Along with misaligned teeth and speech development problems, thumb sucking can also cause some serious mouth issues. This includes misalignment with the jaw, mouth and face muscles, and overall face structure. Constantly having a thumb or pacifier in a child’s mouth can also cause an indenture to the roof of the mouth and become concave, resulting in it becoming very sensitive to touch.pediatric dentist in Kearney

In conclusion, instilling good dental habits in your child is essential for their oral health. Pediatric dental specialists in Kearney, MO offer valuable tips and information to help parents encourage their children to develop good brushing habits and break the habit of thumb sucking. By following these tips from a pediatric dentist in Kearney and scheduling regular visits to a pediatric dentist, you can ensure that your child’s teeth and gums are healthy and strong. Remember, a little effort now can go a long way towards preventing dental issues in the future.


At Shoal Creek, we have worked hard to create a kid-friendly environment, from our office décor to our caring and professional staff. Our pediatric dental specialists in Kearney, MO have offices designed specifically to provide a non-threatening environment where you and your child can feel safe and secure about the dental care they are receiving.

pediatric dentist in Kearney 

As your trusted childrens dentist in Kearney, MO, we will treat your child as you would — with understanding, patience, and kindness. Are you ready to find out why so many people consider us the best pediatric dentist in Kearney? Give us a call today at 816-781-5437 or fill out a new patient form today.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!