Posted on: 30 December 2015
As a parent, it can be difficult to protect your little one's teeth from decay. However, there are precautions that you can take to help keep your child's teeth in great shape. Here are a few:
Carbonated beverages are acidic. In fact, the pH of Coke is around 2.5.
Generally, pH values range between 0 and 14. The most acidic substances have the lowest pH, and the most alkaline liquids have a pH closer to 14. Pure water, which is considered neutral, has a pH around 7.0
Your child's tooth enamel dissolves in the presence of acid. Much of his or her tooth decay will result from acid released by oral bacteria. However, acid is also introduced by the food and drink that he or she ingests.
Soda can be traded for more beneficial drinks, such as tea. Black tea causes little change to the surface pH of tooth enamel. In addition, it has been found to have antimicrobial properties that cause a decline in populations of Streptococcus mutans, which is the primary bacteria associated with tooth decay.
No Hard Candy
Eating hard candy can cause tooth decay because of its sugar content. Simple carbohydrates, such as sucrose, are a favorite food of oral bacteria. As your little one sucks on the hard candy, his or her mouth is bathed in a sugary solution. Oral bacteria feed on the sugar and release decay-causing acid as a byproduct.
As an alternative, offer your youngster sugarless gum. The stickiness of the gum can help remove food particles and plaque from the surface of the teeth. Additionally, chewing stimulates saliva production to dilute acid in the mouth. If you choose a gum that is sweetened with xylitol, the xylitol can help lower the amount of oral bacteria in your child's mouth. Cinnamon-flavored gum can even help kill the bacteria that are associated with bad breath.
No Milk or Juice Bottles Near Nap Time
If your child is not weaned from the bottle yet, it is important not to permit bottles around nap time. Milk and juice may be nutritious, but they also contain large amounts of natural sugar. As a child falls asleep with a bottle in his or her mouth, the liquid pools in the oral cavity since the swallowing reflex and the production of saliva decline during sleep.
If you are uncomfortable removing the bottle entirely around rest times, only fill it with water during those periods.
To learn more ways to promote your child's dental health, visit a pediatric dentist like Robert L. Edmonstone, DDS.Share