Many kids love sugary drinks, but they could stop your child from growing up with a healthy smile. Along with a regular routine of dental cleanings and checkups with your Massachusetts family dentist, restricting your children’s intake of sugary drinks could help to protect them from tooth decay and cavities.
Follow this helpful guideline of tips to encourage better dental hygiene, as well as a more nutritious diet and help avoid tooth decay that leads to cavities.
1. REDUCE THE FREQUENCY OF EATING!
I see many parents that have no idea that eating frequently causes cavities. At least once a month I have a distraught parent of a patient, horrified to find their child has a mouth full of cavities. Most often I find that the child is a “grazer”. I explain that continuous consumption, allows bacteria in the mouth access to sugar and these bacteria make acid damaging tooth enamel. Between meals our saliva neutralizes this acid and the teeth are remineralised. BRUSHING MORE IS NOT THE SOLUTION. Eating less frequently is the the key to minimising decay. Sugary snacks and treats should be eaten with meals, (preferably for dessert) not between meals.
2. ADOPT GOOD HABITS EARLY
The earlier you can start encouraging your kids to develop good habits, the better. Only place breast milk or formula milk in a baby’s bottle — never sugary drinks such as soda or juice. As your child gets older, it’s best to avoid giving sugary drinks for as long as possible — milk and water are much healthier choices.Relatives and family friends often like to give kids treats, such as sugary drinks. Explain to these well-meaning people that you are trying to develop healthy habits and ask that they avoid giving your kids sugar-laden snacks and beverages.
3. SET LIMITS & EXPLAIN
Older kids will likely demand sweet drinks as they love the taste, but parents have a responsibility to restrict their children’s intake. Kids should be taught that sugary drinks are treats to be enjoyed with a special meal, not something to have every day.If your child is already hooked on sugary drinks, you need to explain that cutting down on sugar means having a healthier smile and needing fewer dental treatments. Work on gradually cutting down the amount of soda that the child drinks until it is only an occasional treat.
4. ENCOURAGE A REGULAR & HEALTHY DENTAL ROUTINE
As well as cutting down on sugar in your kids’ diets, you also need to develop a good dental hygiene routine to ensure they grow up with healthy smiles. Encourage kids to brush for two minutes twice every day, using a fluoride toothpaste. You should also teach your kids to floss between their teeth to remove the plaque that lurks in these tiny spaces.Regular dental visits are also important for children’s dental health. Schedule your child’s first dental checkup at about age 3. I recommend having your child accompany you to your visit as an introduction to the dental team and the environment. As children grow, it’s important to attend regular checkups, with your family dentist.
4. CHOOSING THE BEST DENTIST FOR YOUR CHILD
A dentist appointment is an opportunity for you to ask about managing your child’s diet and sugar intake, as well as to get tips about caring for your child’s teeth. Choose a family dentist who makes you and your child feel comfortable, making each appointment a positive experience. Pizzarello & Silvestro Family Dentistry treats many children of our adult patients. Children are occasionally referred to a pedodontist on an individual case basis to meet a child’s specific needs.
About Dr. PizzarelloDr. Joseph Pizzarello, DDS is the lead dentist at Family Dentistry located in Stoneham, MA. Pizzarello & Silvestro Family Dentistry provides dental services for the entire family and specializes in CERAC crowns, smile reconstructions, and full service dentistry. We can handle everything from regular checkups and cleanings to full on emergency dentistry and specialty dental procedures at our offices. If you have questions or would like to book an appointment, please give us a call at (781) 369-5101!