Does Diet Affect My Kids’ Teeth?

Making sure your child has a balanced and nutritious diet is very important to their oral and overall health. By encouraging healthy eating habits early on in life, your child is more likely to maintain those habits and more prone to an overall healthy lifestyle. For the first 6 months of their lives babies will receive all of their nutritional requirements from a milk-based diet. At the 6-month marker, children enter a stage of transitional feeding, progressing from only milk to a more varied diet of solid foods from four food groups. A balanced diet consists of foods from the protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables and dairy food groups. This balanced diet will encourage healthy development as your child grows and it will also help maintain good oral health. For any questions regarding diet for children give your experienced pediatric dentist a call today!

How Do I Prevent Cavities?

By starting healthy oral habits early, you can help encourage a lifestyle of healthy choices and cavity prevention! Before your child’s teeth even erupt you should start by wiping your baby’s gums with a warm washcloth after every feeding. Then after the teeth emerge you should begin by brushing your baby’s teeth with a child-sized toothbrush. Until the age of 6-7 you should be supervising your child’s brushing to help and make sure they know the proper techniques. All of these habits, plus a healthy diet will help prevent cavities in your children.

What is Dental Sealant?

Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.

When Should My Child Wear a Mouth Guard?

If your child is playing sports, especially sports where the potential to be hit by a ball or another player is present, a mouthguard should be considered a necessary piece of equipment. According to the American Dental Association, about 10 to 20% of all sports-related injuries involve the mouth or face.

Are Sports Drinks Healthy for My Child?

Everyone needs to stay hydrated to stay healthy, and you can’t go wrong giving kids plain water. But what about kids who play sports? Do they need something extra to avoid dehydration? Not necessarily. The average young athlete can and should get all the necessary nutrients and hydration by eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. During games and competitive events, drinks should be available at all times and regular water breaks should be scheduled about every 15 or 20 minutes. The amount of water needed can vary depending on the child’s age, weight, intensity of the activity, and weather conditions. Your young athlete(s) definitely need to replace fluids, carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes after hard exercise. But consuming too much of the high sugar and highly acidic content in some sports drinks can increase your child’s likelihood of tooth decay and enamel erosion. According to a University of Iowa study, a leading sports drink had the greatest erosion potential on both enamel and roots of teeth when compared to leading brands of energy drinks, soda and apple juice. 

The high acid levels from many sports drinks can also have an erosive effect on the entire surface of the tooth. Sugary, acidic drinks are particularly damaging when sipped frequently throughout the day because they spend a prolonged amount of time washed over the teeth.