February was National Children’s Dental Health Month and we at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry are excited to be helping kids all over the Chapel Hill and Orange County area by visiting schools, talking about dental health, and making sure that children have the right tools to keep their mouths healthy.
In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the American Dental Association (ADA) announced the 2017 theme for the month: “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.” What the ADA means by this is “drink tap water for the fluoride.”
Fluoride is a colorless, flavorless, odorless, safe additive to water that helps prevent tooth decay. It is added to the public water supply in many places all over the United States, including Chapel Hill. While consuming water with fluoride is a good and easy method of taking care of your children’s teeth, many parents struggle with getting their kids to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
In addition to brushing and flossing every day, there are other methods you can use to keep your children’s mouths healthy and keep them out of the dentist’s chair.
Cut Back on Juice
Lessening the amount of juice that your kids drink might sound like a hard thing to do considering how much kids love juice, but the effects of the sugar in juice actually speed up the process of tooth decay. You might have heard over the years that sugar is bad for your teeth, but what does that actually mean?
The sugars or carbohydrates that occur in drinks like juice tend to stick to teeth. Not long after ingesting juice, the sugars combine with bacteria in your mouth to develop acids. These acids waste no time in starting to break down tooth enamel and creating tooth decay. Cutting back the amount of juice your child drinks can help their mouths stay healthy.
Eat More Veggies
It will come as no surprise that someone who looks after the physical health of your child wants them to eat cleaner more nutrient-rich foods, even if it is your dentist. As an advocate for pediatric dental health, cutting back on sugary foods and drinks is always a good thing when it comes to your child’s teeth. That being said, there are several vegetables and other foods that can help your child keep their mouth healthy.
Leafy greens like lettuce and spinach are a great source of many vitamins, including calcium which strengthens tooth enamel. Vegetables like celery and carrots actually have a “scrubbing” effect on teeth, cleaning as you chew. They both are full of fiber and vitamin A, a vital part of gum health. Eating raw carrots at the end of a meal actually help fend off tooth decay by making your mouth salivate more.
Avoid Bottle Decay
It is quite normal to put a baby or toddler down for a nap with a bottle or sippy cup, but putting them down with a bottle filled with juice can be counter-productive when it comes to their teeth. Even giving your child a bottle with milk or formula when they go down for a nap can have long-term effects on their oral health.
What’s a parent to do in that situation? Giving your child water in their bottle or sippy cup makes a healthy substitute for milk, formula, or juice. As we said before, tap water is not only less harmful than juice, but fluoridated tap water can actually help protect your child from pediatric tooth decay.
Contact Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry for Preventative Care Today
On top of the advice here, you want to ensure that your child is brushing and flossing properly every day and visiting their pediatric dentist regularly for checkups. Make your child’s next appointment with Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry today by scheduling through our form or by calling 919-967-2773.