February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!
The American Dental Association has designated each February to be a month-long observance to promote the benefits of good oral health to children. It is so important to get your children acclimated to a good dental hygiene routine which can save them from unnecessary dental issues in their future.
As soon as teeth appear in your child’s mouth, decay can occur. In fact, frequent and prolonged exposure of a baby’s teeth to liquids, such as fruit juice, milk, or formula, all of which contain sugar, can result in decay. This is referred to as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing mouth syndrome. Infants should finish their naptime or bedtime bottle before going to bed. You should encourage your children to drink from a cup by their first birthdays.
This generation of youngsters have an unbelievable choice of convenience foods at their disposal, everywhere you look. Whether it is in your pantry, school, a friend’s house, the movies, or the mall, it is in their face, enticing them to taste. As much as you, as a parent, try to limit their choices, there is just so much control you have.
I remember as a new parent, stocking my home with organic, low-sugar fig bars and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, only to have my child come home from a friend’s home regaling me on the wonders of double stuffed chocolate dipped Oreos.
You do what you can to limit them to healthy choices but let’s face it; Americans, especially the kids, are consuming foods and drinks high in sugar and starches more often and in larger portions than ever before. The junk in your trunk from your supermarket trip becomes junk in their trunk and gunk on their teeth.
If you think about it, in the U.S., on average, individuals consume approximately 50 gallons of sugary beverages per year. Line up 50 gallons of milk on your counter…it is a huge quantity of soda, juices, juice cocktails, Slurpee’s etc. The sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid which attacks their teeth. Each attack lasts about 20 minutes and starts over with every sip of soda you take. These ongoing acid attacks weaken tooth enamel. Consuming too much sugar can also affect your overall health, such as becoming overweight/obese, or getting heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
Diet or “sugar-free” drinks contain their own acid, which also can damage teeth and presents their own set of health issues.
To limit the damage from sugary drinks,
- Drink soft drinks with a meal when saliva is present to break down the acid.
- Use a straw which is positioned toward the back of their mouth, keeping the liquid away from teeth.
- Brush and floss regularly to fight enamel damage.
Dr. Lee Lichtenstein and his highly trained staff offer general dentistry services as well as dental treatments that can be performed using sedation dentistry and general anesthesia techniques to make patients’ experiences more pleasant and comfortable.
Visit our practice to discuss your dental needs and concerns.
723 North Beers Street
Holmdel, NJ 07733.
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org