When it comes to the food we give our kids, we all know that limiting candy and soda is essential for their dental health. However, over 40% of kids still have dental cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. The reason? Even seemingly healthy foods can have a big impact on your dental hygiene.
To help your family fend off plaque, tartar, and cavities, here are five surprising things that could be hurting your child’s dental health and what you can do about it.
Newborns sleep between 10.5 to 18 hours a day, and many parents will put baby down to sleep with a bottle. Unfortunately, bottle feeding at bedtime isn’t always the best course of action.
Bedtime bottle-feeding puts your baby at greater risk of tooth decay. This is because, when your child sleeps, the sugars from the milk coat their gums and new teeth. These sugars feed the bacteria in your child’s mouth, which puts them at greater risk for cavities. To help keep tooth decay at bay, wipe down baby’s gums and teeth with a gentle cloth before they go to sleep.
Fruits are one of the best things you can give your kids because they packed full of vitamins and nutrients. However, it’s a good idea to switch up the types of fruits that your kids are eating. This is because citrus fruits, while delicious, are also acidic. The acids in oranges, clementines, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, and limes can erode your child’s tooth enamel over time.
To reduce the impact of these acids, teach your child to rinse their mouth with water after they’ve eaten citrus fruits. This helps to remove any leftover acids that might still be present on their teeth after eating their snack.
Energy drinks are popular with middle school and high school kids, but they can take a serious toll on your teeth if you’re not careful. According to dental experts, drinking energy drinks is like bathing your teeth’s enamel in a highly acidic liquid. Reduce your child’s consumption of energy drinks or teach them to rinse their mouths with water when they’re finished with their drinks to keep the acids from lingering on their teeth’s surface.
There are water storage tanks still in use that are over 100 years old, but even newer tanks can house hard water. Hard water is when there’s a build-up of calcium and magnesium in your water. There hasn’t been a lot of research on the effects of hard water, but these minerals can leave a residue on your clothes, your dishes, and potentially your teeth. Fortunately, you can easily fix this problem by adding a water filter to your faucets to help reduce the amount of calcium and magnesium making its way into your drinking water.
It’s important to establish good dental hygiene practices when your kids are young. By following the tips above, you can help to fight back against cavities so your child’s teeth will grow as big and strong as they will.