Friday, November 23, 2018

How Cough Syrup Can Cause Cavities

How Cough Syrup Can Cause Cavities

As parents, there are few things that cause us more worry than when our children are ill. We want to treat them in the most effective way possible. But while illness can be an emergency, you need to remain on guard to protect your children’s teeth. For instance, cough syrup can do a wonderful job of treating a child’s cold. Unfortunately, cough syrups filled with acids and sugars pose as much danger to teeth as any other acidic and sugary substance. By all means, give your children cough syrup to help them feel better. But follow this advice to make sure you don’t cause harm while you’re trying to help.

Because cough syrup is not tooth-friendly, it’s important to know more about our mouth’s best built-in tool for countering its harmful properties: saliva. Saliva protects teeth and gums by washing away harmful chemicals, food debris and germs. Whatever doesn’t go down your child’s throat to help with his or her symptoms will be washed away with saliva eventually once the mouth is properly lubricated. So, how do you ensure that your child’s saliva levels will be sufficient when you give him or her the medicine?

The best method: Give the cough syrup during a meal. People’s mouths naturally fill with saliva when they know a meal is imminent. By having your child take the cough syrup during the meal, you can ensure that its harmful impact is minimized.

What if your child is unable to eat or has just finished a meal? If that’s the case, your best bet is to get your child to brush his or her teeth and rinse his or her mouth immediately after taking the cough syrup.

Finally, if you have the option and your child is able, use a pill form of the cough medicine instead of the syrup version. If your child has problems swallowing pills or you have other concerns about how caring for an illness can interfere with dental care, don’t hesitate to ask us during your next visit at KiDDS Dental. We can give you some tips that will help your child shake the illness without damaging his or her growing teeth.

Call us to schedule an appointment today!  509-891-7070. We'd love to meet you and your family.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Help Your Child’s Tooth Enamel Last a Lifetime

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.