Help Your Child’s Tooth Enamel Last a Lifetime
Tooth enamel, the hardest tissue in the human body, protects teeth from daily wear and tear. If properly cared for, the enamel that covers your child’s teeth is designed to last a lifetime. Although enamel will become worn with normal use, establishing good habits in childhood can go a long way toward keeping the hard covering stable and healthy. Here are a few tips for protecting enamel:
- Limit sugar-laden foods and drinks. Sugar triggers the production of acid in your child’s mouth. Foods that are both sweet and sticky are especially bad for enamel. Beverages like soda pop frequently contain other ingredients such as citric or phosphoric acid that can be harmful to enamel.
- Focus on foods that protect enamel. Dairy products help strengthen and protect dental enamel while neutralizing acids in the mouth that can erode enamel over time. If your child likes orange juice, choose a juice with calcium added to help neutralize the juice’s natural acid.
- Brush thoroughly but gently. Make sure your child uses a soft brush and does not scrub teeth too vigorously. It’s also a good idea to wait about an hour after eating before brushing because some foods can soften enamel, making it more prone to brush-related damage.
- Look out for chlorine. If your child swims, make sure the gym or pool he or she uses checks and maintains the proper water pH level. Improperly chlorinated pools can become acidic. Tell your child to keep his or her mouth closed when swimming to avoid having his or her teeth come into contact with the water.
- Drink lots of water. Especially after periods of strenuous play or exercise, drinking water helps keep teeth and gums clean and moist, and reduces levels of harmful bacteria.
- Avoid the daily grind. Many children grind their teeth at night, a habit that can erode enamel significantly over time. If your child is a grinder, ask us about tooth guards to prevent damage.
- Visit the dentist regularly. The best way to monitor your child’s tooth enamel for signs of damage is to make sure he or she sees the dentist every six months. Other ways to protect enamel include the use of oral care products containing fluoride.
Start early and monitor your child’s oral health to ensure that the tooth’s enamel will remain intact throughout his or her entire lifetime.
If you have questions about your child's tooth enamel, click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.