Parents often give fruit juice and milk to their children, as part of a healthy snack. Where the mistake is made is giving these to children too frequently, or where the child is allowed to carry a cup along all day or put to bed at night with a bottle or sippy cup in the evening containing these fluids. The reason behind this is that frequent exposure to even natural sugars found in milk or fruit juice will produce acidic byproducts that feed bacterial plaque and lead to the erosion of tooth enamel. A common result of children being placed to bed at night with milk is “baby bottle tooth decay” – a severe form of pediatric dental disease. Limiting consumption of these liquids is best left for meal times only.
Between meals or at bedtime, water is the healthiest drink for your child’s teeth. Water provides a natural cleansing mechanism to wash away acid, bacteria and debris from the teeth. Keep water handy for your child, allowing them to drink it frequently. Not only does it hydrate better than other drinks, the cleansing mechanisms help access areas in the mouth that sometimes go untouched.
Fluoride levels in tap water are also beneficial to tooth formation and the reduction of tooth decay. Community water supplies have monitored levels of fluoride appropriate to the location, time of year, and population. Bottled water does not, and may contain very high or very low levels of fluoride because it is not regulated for bottled water consumption. Refrain from adding mixes or flavored drops to your water, as this adjusts the pH levels and exposes your teeth to acidic levels that promote decay.
Posted on behalf of Lawrenceville Family Dental Care, P.C.
As a parent, you may have applauded the end of the winter vacation. The kids are back in school, and you are back to your daily routine. Until the dreaded ‘parent / teacher’ letter shows up one day, saying that your son or daughter seems to not be paying attention in class.
A common cause for a loss of concentration in school is tooth decay. After seeing your pediatrician, make an appointment to see a pediadrict dentist. If there are no medical reasons that your child is not paying attention, and especially if this is a new problem, the cause may simply be that your son or daughter has a toothache.
Annually, in the United States, tooth aches and tooth decay account for over 50 million lost days at school. Tooth decay is an infectious disease, and while your son can not pass this to his friend in school, tooth decay will spread to other teeth if not treated promptly.
Tooth decay causes cavities in children. If these cavities are caught promptly, they are easy to fill and treat. Other problems that may arise if a child has tooth decay is a new problem in speaking or eating.
There are ways to prevent tooth decay, but if your child is experiencing new concentration problems at school, consider adding in a visit to your dentist as you try to determine the cause. Until then, encourage your child to brush twice daily, floss at least once a day, and help them by encouraging a healthy diet. One of the best ways a parent can help build good dental habits is by displaying these habits themselves. Parents are great examples of what to do (and not to do!). Help your child by making good brushing and flossing part of your daily routine in your home.
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