Hot pepper against nail biting or thumb sucking.
As a pediatric dentist, every day I meet children, aged between 10 months and 18 years and their parents. It is NOT easy to act on two fronts at the same time – to be calm, not to provoke stress and to evoke trust in the child, on the one hand, and to be a true authority, with a good set of knowledge and skills before the parents, on the other hand. One of the key questions, which I ask during consultations, is this: Does your child have any harmful habits?
Many mothers and fathers do not know that these harmful habits, due to the numerous repetitions, may affect the arrangement of both milk and permanent teeth, as well as that the position of the teeth is responsible for the in/correct bite of the little person.
Which are the harmful habits, which could affect and impair the esthetics, arrangement and proper contact between the upper and lower jaw?
Even in modern days, there are still attempts to “break” some of these habits, applying techniques, such as rubbing fingers with hot peppers, using bitter nail polish, putting on mittens, sewing pajamas’ sleeves… This sounds more like a list of torture methods in a concentration camp.
What is the solution, then, you may ask?
Psychologist very often talk of these harmful habits, as being compensatory, satisfying a child’s need of attention and support. Do not think that if your child has such a habit, then you are a bad parent or have neglected him or her. In fact, sometimes we, the parents, fail to realize when exactly our child needed us and we were not there for them. In most cases, breaking a harmful habit, lasting for more than 3 months, requires almost double that time. It takes time to deal with this issue, because it actually proves to be a problem for the entire family, where the main goal is not to make the child feel guilty and under further stress. Play with your children, hug them when you see the habit sneak into their daily lives, occupy their attention, do not let them get bored, let them play with other children of their age or older children, who do not have such habits. Because, sometimes the harmful habit can be a replication of a model of behavior of an older child – authority. Be patient, and if you need help, your pediatric dentist may also prove to be a good authority for you children and help them break the harmful habit more quickly and effortlessly. Therefore, the earlier the dentist meets you and your precious one, dear parents, the more the risk of aggravation of the issues and occurrence of complications would be minimized. Visit your dentist with a smile!
Yours truly, Dr. Cvety #drCvety