The Role Nutrition Plays in Maintaining Healthy Teeth

kids dentist Fort WorthWhat we eat and drink has an impact on our oral health. Diets high in sugar and acid can severely affect children’s dental health – especially since children are constantly enticed by foods full of sugar, artificial ingredients, and acidic preservatives. Whether it is commercials advertising unhealthy foods or the plethora of harmful choices available at schools and other public places, maintaining good nutritional habits can be cumbersome for parents and caregivers – especially since many harmful ingredients are listed on packaging by less common names. Our pediatric dentistry practice and our kid’s dentist are committed to helping our community achieve vibrant oral health by providing comprehensive care and oral health education.

Why Sugar and Acid are Dangerous

Sugar is dangerous to oral health because it is a source of fuel for bacteria. When sugar is consumed – by either food or drink – bacteria go on a feeding frenzy. When bacteria feed, they colonize, which ultimately leads to plaque formation and as a result of this process, they produce acid as a by-product. Any kind of acid, even acid produced by bacteria, softens tooth enamel by stripping away its mineral content. Alone, sugar and acid are quite dangerous to the health of teeth and when they are combined, they can lead to permanent tooth damage and dental caries.

Weakened tooth enamel leaves teeth unprotected against the cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Children’s oral health and well-being is greatly compromised by tooth decay. Cavities can cause daily discomfort that can affect performance in school, speech development, and overall health. Untreated tooth decay not only damages teeth, it can progress into a chronic infection like an abscess.

Tips for Reducing Sugar and Acid in One’s Diet

Since sugary and acidic food is commonplace in modern diets, we encourage to be vigilant when reading the ingredients on food and beverage packages. For instance, ingredients like alcohol-based sugars or forms of fructose feed bacteria the same way that sugarcane does. Additionally, common flavor enhancers and preservatives like ascorbic or citric acid can weaken teeth. Beyond reducing sugar and acid intake, parents should encourage the consumption of clear water to help rinse the mouth and maintain a healthy pH. Children should also receive routine pediatric dentistry care.

Contact Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry to schedule a checkup or cleaning with our kid’s dental team.

4 Important Steps to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

pediatric teeth cleaning The proper attention to your child’s oral health is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children that will last for their lifetime. Many parents are not aware that a child should experience their first dental visit at the age of twelve months. This appointment provides a wonderful opportunity to learn about pediatric teeth cleaning as well as an initial examination.

Over time your child will acclimate to the sounds and smells of the dental office making its environment feel safe and reassuring. If the child’s initial visit is due to a dental problem, fear and discomfort might be the predominant feeling experienced making subsequent dental visits very traumatic.

This first appointment should be followed up with regular dental visits to your children’s dentist to assure optimum care. And while these visits are important, what you do daily for your child can have long term consequences.

Brushing – Caring for baby teeth is important as they pave the way for the permanent teeth that are intended to last for a lifetime. A soft bristle tooth brush and an age appropriate tooth paste are the tools you should use coupled with your assistance until your child is coordinated enough to thoroughly brush on their own. Do not be misled into believing the pediatric teeth cleaning your child receives from the dentist is sufficient for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Flossing – Once your child’s teeth have erupted so they are almost touching, flossing should commence in earnest. Gently massaging your child’s gums with floss will promote good dental health.

Fluoride – This nutrient is found in tap water, but since many children drink bottled water or alternative beverages, your dentist can provide fluoride treatments as needed. Fluoride is essential to decay prevention so these treatments as well as using fluoridated tooth pastes and/or rinses are key components to dental health.

Sealants – As permanent teeth erupt, your children’s dentist may recommend protecting those new chewing surfaces with a dental sealant. A sealant is applied to the top surfaces of molar teeth. The microscopic pits on the teeth will be filled in sealing out the bacteria that can lead to cavities.

As your child ages, the dentist will render the appropriate treatment that will provide the best opportunity to maintain a beautiful smile and a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

To schedule an appointment for your child, call Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry today!