Tooth enamel is the white, visible part of the tooth that most of us associate teeth with. It’s the first line of protection your teeth have against plaque and cavities. We use primarily use enamel to eat because they are strong enough to withstand the pressure of chewing. Unfortunately, tooth enamel is exposed to acids formed by cavity-causing bacteria whenever there is food debris left in the mouth. So how can you protect your child’s tooth enamel?
1. Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
Bacteria feed off sugar in your teeth, causing plaque and ultimately cavities. To avoid this, limit the number of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes. Also note that not all sugary foods are obvious, bread and rice also convert to simple sugars that can damage the teeth. When you’re grocery shopping, check the back of the package for the nutrition content. Try to avoid sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, and fruit juice, all of which are notoriously high in sugar.
2. Add Calcium Rich Foods
Calcium is a dental super mineral because it can neutralize damaging acids and remineralize the enamel to protect the teeth. Try incorporating at least one dairy product to each of your child’s meals to increase their calcium intake. For children who cannot consume dairy, try giving them other calcium enriched foods and drinks, such as almond milk, canned fish, kale, almonds, or soy beans.
3. Brush and Floss Regularly
When food particles are left on your child’s teeth, bacteria growth that eats away at enamel and causes cavities. This is why it is imperative to brush twice a day, for two minutes at a time, and floss once a day to remove debris from the between the teeth and gums. If your child is unable to floss on their own, then you can help floss their teeth for them. Brushing and flossing are great ways to keep their mouth clean and cavity-free.
4. Rinse after Meals
An easy way to get rid of food debris from your child’s mouth is by having them rinse with water immediately after meals. Encourage your child to swish clean water in their mouth for about 30 seconds and then spit it out in a sink. Doing this after each meal will keep their mouth clean and healthy.
5. Limit Citrus
Food and drinks with high levels of citric acid erode tooth enamel through a process called demineralization. In severe cases of demineralization, the acid can even damage the dentin, a soft layer of tooth beneath the enamel. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and pain. When consuming foods with high citric acidity, rinse the mouth with water for 30 seconds afterwards to clean remove the lingering acid.
6. Use Fluoridated Toothpaste
Fluoridated toothpaste strengthens enamel in a process called remineralization. When you choose fluoridated toothpaste for your child, check to see if it has the ADA seal of approval to ensure that it is safe and meets national standards.
Visit Our Office
Visit your our pediatric dentist’s office in Katy, TX, so we can evaluate your child’s overall oral health. At Kids Healthy Teeth, we will assess your child’s tooth enamel as a part of our regular checkups and treat it as needed. It’s our goal to help give you and your child the knowledge necessary to keep a healthy, lifelong smile.