Sometimes, it can be hard to get your child to care for his or her teeth properly. Brushing and flossing can feel like a chore to many children. However, there are additional things that parents can do to help their child maintain good oral health. Here are a few of them:
Offer the youngster gum.
Sugarless gum can be a great addition to an oral health regimen. Not only will the child usually enjoy the gum, but the gum can also be used to pull food particles and plaque from the teeth. By offering your child gum after meals and snacks, you can help him or her avoid tooth decay.
Each time your child eats, the carbohydrates in his or her mouth become food for oral bacteria. The bacteria feed on the carbohydrates and release acid as a by-product. This acid demineralizes the tooth enamel to cause dental decay.
When your child chews gum, the salivary glands are stimulated to produce more saliva, which dilutes the acid in the mouth and helps rinse away leftover food.
Some types of sugarless gum offer even more benefits. Sugarless gum that is sweetened with xylitol or includes cinnamon flavoring is also antibacterial. Thus, the gum can help eliminate decay-causing microbes in the mouth.
Let your child drink tea.
Tea is often considered more healthy than soda. However, the drink has added dental benefits.
Drinking three or four cups of tea daily can help lower the number of oral bacteria in the mouth, such as Lactobacillus and Streptococcus mutans.
To help your child drink enough tea to enjoy its benefits, try offering tea with meals instead of other soft drinks.
Have your child rinse his or her mouth with water regularly.
Between meals, it can be helpful for your child to rinse his or her mouth with water. Tap water is usually fluoridated. This can help ensure that your child's teeth remain hard and decay-resistant.
Fluoride helps remineralize the teeth. The compound formed by the combination of fluoride with other minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, helps harden the teeth by repairing the demineralized areas with a new tooth material that is even harder than your child's original tooth material.
Water can also help prevent dry mouth and rinse away particles of food in the same manner as saliva.
To learn more things that you can do to protect your child's oral health, consult with a pediatric dentist such as Smile Builders - Robyn Lesser DMD.