February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
Children’s teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and a healthy smile is also important to a child’s self-esteem. With proper care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, their teeth can stay healthy and strong throughout their entire lifetime.
Many parents issue a common refrain at dinnertime: “You’d better eat that – it’s good for you! And the other favorite: “Don’t eat that – it’ll rot your teeth!” Now more than ever, kids are faced with a bewildering array of food choices – from fresh produce to sugar-laden processed convenience meals and snacks. What kids eat and when they eat it may affect not only their general health but also their oral health.
Almost all foods have some type of sugar that cannot and should not be eliminated from our diet. Many of these foods contain important nutrients and add enjoyment to eating. But there is a risk for tooth decay from a diet high in sugars and starches. Americans are consuming foods and drinks high in sugar and starches more often and in larger portions than ever before. The average teenage boy in the U.S. drinks 81 gallons of soft drinks each year! A steady diet of sugary foods and drinks can ruin teeth, especially among those who
snack throughout the day.
So what can you do to reduce your children’s risk of tooth decay?
• Sugar and sugary drinks should only be consumed at meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
• Limit between-meal snacks. If kids want a snack, offer a nutritious one.
• If your kids chew gum, make it sugarless. Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food.
• Monitor beverage consumption – Instead of soft drinks all day, children should also choose water and low-fat milk.
• Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits.
• And of course … Schedule regular dental visits!
During the month of February we are offering the Oral-B Pro-Health For Me Power Bundle for only $35. The bundle contains a rechargeable child’s toothbrush with 2 brush heads, mouth rinse, toothpaste, timer and floss picks. It comes in a nifty backpack. Call the Smile Savers Dentistry office near Ellicott City MD at 410-730-6460 to order one.