Your Child's Teeth
|When to Eat and Not Eat Sweets
Every time your child snacks on sugary foods or has sugary drinks, it increases his or her chances of tooth decay. Bacteria living on the surfaces of the teeth, when fed a sugary meal or drink, quickly make acids that work to dissolve the enamel of the teeth. The more sugary foods and liquids are taken during the day, the more acids are produced by the bacteria. This will happen even if there is brushing of the teeth or rinsing of the mouth.
Grouping sweets with meals means fewer acid productions done by bacteria to decay teeth. Water or sugar-free foods and drinks are best for snack times outside of meals. Sugary liquids, such as soda, punch, honey, fruit drinks and juice, should not be put into a bottle.
Preventing Dental Decay
The bacteria that live in parents’ mouths or in siblings’ mouths can be transferred to a younger child. Bacteria can be transmitted between family members, and dental decay can become a big problem for the whole family. Make sure that your family does not directly share food, eating utensils or toothbrushes. Every member of a household needs to visit a dentist on a regular basis.
Every child should see a dentist before the age of two, so the dentist can evaluate the child’s mouth and perform preventative care. These check-ups should definitely be performed by the age of five. Children who have had any decay or white spots should go to the dentist every six months.
Fluoride helps make the enamel of the tooth harder and stronger. There are many ways to ensure you are getting enough fluoride for your teeth:
- Brushing with toothpaste containing fluoride helps prevent decay.
- Drinking fluoridated water helps developing permanent teeth grow stronger.
- Getting fluoride treatments at a dental office makes the teeth more resistant to decay.
Bedtime Teeth Cleaning
It is most important that your child goes to sleep each night with clean teeth. During those eight hours of sleep, saliva can help re-mineralize weak areas when teeth are clean.
We encourage you to teach your child good brushing habits, but an adult needs to brush and check the child’s teeth for good cleaning each day before bedtime.
For More Information
For more information, please contact the Healthy Fontana hot line at (909) 350-6542.