Parents’ concerns about their children’s health are numerous. Fortunately, and lately, parents can find guides to prevent potential issues that can affect their kids promptly before they turn into serious problems. As a fact, one of these concerns relates to tooth decay in children.
A study conducted between 1999 and 2004 by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports an alarming 42% of children ages 2 to 11 experienced having caries in their primary teeth. Also, 23% of children in the same age group have untreated dental caries.
Tooth decay or dental caries is a serious concern. Poor oral hygiene and excessive sugar consumption create a propitious environment for bacteria to grow. As bacteria grow in number, they create a biofilm layer that sticks to teeth’ enamel.
Enamel is the first outer layer of teeth. Having a strong enamel prevents bacteria advance on other teeth layers. Therefore, this article addresses the importance of having solid enamel and advises parents about how to prevent tooth decay in kids.
How Can I Help My Kid Prevent the Loss of Tooth Enamel?
Having strong enamel isn’t tricky. However, at times kids are not adequately guided by their parents on their oral hygiene routines, or they just drink too many sugary beverages or overeat candy. These factors severely contribute to enamel erosion and an eventual case of tooth decay. So here we include a short list of things you can do to help your kid engage in preventing tooth decay:
Avoid or Limit Sugary Drinks and Foods.
Kids love sugar, and it is everywhere. Even bacteria adore sugar, and they find it in our kids’ teeth when drinking sugary beverages or eating candy. But what makes sugar so bad? As bacteria feed on sugar in a kid’s mouth, they leave disgusting residues that form acids. These acids demineralize a kid’s teeth, making them weaker.
Bacteria then can advance on further layers of teeth producing tooth decay. Therefore, you can help your kid by reducing sugar consumption and replacing soda with water. If your kid drank a soda, or ate other sugary or starchy food, engage with your child on playing with brushing teeth and advise how important it is to have a healthy denture.
Feed Your Kid With Foods Rich in Calcium
Calcium is a mineral that helps have healthy bones and teeth. There are numerous advantages of including foods rich in calcium in a kid’s diet, as it helps them grow stronger. Calcium is so essential that 99% of it stores in the bones and teeth. In fact, when related to teeth, calcium helps to counteract acid from bacteria and is vital in mineralizing enamel.
Take a Look at Your Kid’s Toothbrush.
There are many types of toothbrushes on the market. However, some toothbrushes might not be suitable for your child. Make sure to get a child toothbrush with soft bristles. Also, train your kid to gently and thoroughly brush its teeth. Harshly brushing teeth might damage enamel.
Make Sure Your Kid Uses Fluoride.
As well as with calcium, fluoride is a mineral found in bones and teeth and is commonly used to strengthen enamel. Most tubes of toothpaste include fluoride. However, double-check if the paste your kid is using contains fluoride. Also, tap water normally contains fluoride. However, we recommend you check if the water you and your children use contains fluoride. Finally, do not forget to take your kiddo to a dentist checkup at least twice a year. A dentist can detect a lack of enamel and recommend using topical fluoride.
Chew Gum. Yes, Chewing Gum Is Good for Your Kid.
It might sound nonsense, but yes, chewing non-sugar, ADA approved gum is beneficial for your kids’ teeth. Firstly, Xylitol is a natural sugar that has been considered a product that reduces cavities, helping remineralize teeth. Also, chewing appropriate gum helps increase salivary flow. Saliva acts to protect teeth’s enamel.
What Are Some Foods With High Fluoride Content for Your Kid?
Grapes & Raisins
Grapes and raisins have the highest fluoride concentrations of all foods. So you can add grapes to your kid’s diet as a dessert or mix some raisins in your kid’s oatmeal, pouring some milk on it.
Almost all fruits contain fluoride, and they are delicious. Part of a healthy meal includes fruits and vegetables on any person’s diet. Kids especially require nutrients found in fruits.
It is ok for kids not to prefer vegetables over donuts. However, vegetables are essential in a healthy diet. You can choose to prepare some delicious potatoes in an air-fryer or mix some spinach with scrambled eggs and make them more flavorful.
Fish are a great source of fluoride and also, Omega 3 and 6, which are good for brain development. In fact, there are various seafood types like shrimp that are also a good source of fluoride.
Can Tooth Enamel be Restored?
No, enamel doesn’t restore. However, it can be protected and remineralized. This is why; we recommend foods high in minerals that compose the hardest part of the human body, like calcium and fluoride. Enamel is composed of 96% of the minerals that are solidly compacted.