Back to School: 4 Tips for Healthy Teeth!
Moms and Dads, your kids are finally back to school armed with new school supplies and their best looking outfits. While you are picking up their wet swimming suits and cleaning up junk food wrappers or empty soda cans, you may wonder how your children's summer indulgences affected their daily routine and the health of their teeth.
Back to school is a perfect time to schedule a visit with their dentist to ensure your children's teeth are healthy and cavity-free. Dental pain or disease can lead to difficulty in eating, speaking, playing, and learning as well as many hours/days of missed school.
It may surprise some people to know that cavities are the single most common chronic disease in children. In fact, it is five times more common than asthma and four times more common than early childhood obesity. This seems astonishing, considering that cavities are 100% preventable.
You might think, well they are just baby teeth---aren’t they just going to lose them? This is true, but untreated cavities in baby teeth can lead to pain or even harm the permanent teeth underneath. Sometimes cavities can get so bad that it leads to a severe dental abscess, which can sometimes spread into the jaw and other parts of their face. Don't wait for the pain! Prevention is the key!
Burleson Pediatric Dentistry has prepared the following tips to start your kids on the right path.
1. Drink lots of water!
Cavities start when bacteria or “sugar bugs” feed on sugar in our diet and produce acids that eat away at teeth’s hard mineralized structure. Sugar is everywhere, but half of the sugar in kids diet’s today comes from drinks like soda, juices, and sports beverages. By encouraging your kids to drink only water, this alone will have a tremendous effect on preventing cavities.
What about Gatorade? Many parents have the misconception that sports beverages are healthy because commercials claim it hydrates and recharges the body with electrolytes. But in reality, all they are doing is pumping kids full of sugar. Sodium is the most common electrolyte lost in sweat, but most Americans get more than enough sodium from their diets.
2. Eat healthy lunches and snacks.
Eat a well-balanced diet, including fruits, vegetables, calcium whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid chewy and sticky foods such as dried fruit or candy, which can stay on the teeth for a long time. Because each kid is unique, the specifics of nutritional counseling are individual to each child and a significant focus of hygiene appointments in our pediatric dental office.
3. Brush and floss.
So basic, but so important! Your child should brush for two minutes, two times a day with fluoridated toothpaste. The best times are in the morning and before bed (this is also the best time to floss). Kids don’t possess the hand dexterity and fine motor skills that adults do until they are much older. Therefore, parents must brush and floss your kid’s teeth at least once a day until they are 8-9 years old.
4. Regular dental check-ups.
This is where it all starts! By taking your kids to a certified pediatric dentist every six months, he/she can treat or prevent dental problems. In addition, preventive measures such as fluoride treatments and sealants can be done in the office to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Make regular dental check-ups part of your children's healthcare routine.
The philosophy of Burleson Pediatric Dentistry is to help kids develop the fundamentals of good oral hygiene for life. Our board-certified pediatric dentists are experts in understanding dental milestones, along with tracking growth & developmental changes. We recognize no two children are alike, and each child has his/her own unique needs.
Burleson Pediatric Dentistry is located at 101 NW Renfro Street, Suite 106, Burleson, Texas 76028. Call 817-447-7474 to schedule your appointment today!