When you’ve got kids to look after, you know to be concerned when things get too quiet. That’s when something can be going on that you probably should know about. When it comes to your kids’ teeth and gums, the same can be true. Your kids have quiet ways of hurting their teeth.
At the DeJesus Dental Group, our dentists deliver family dentistry treatments. We can see children as young as one year old. Our teams are experienced in working with kids, and we love to help them have great dental health as they grow up. To help with that, here are some quiet ways kids can hurt their dental health.
– The “I have better things to do” brushing.
No doubt, you taught your children how to brush and floss. You have made it a priority in your household, making sure to remind your kids to brush after dinner. You even watch as they run to the bathroom to clean their teeth. That’s it, right? Job done?
Sometimes, it’s not that easy. Kids are often thinking about the next fun thing to do — and brushing and flossing usually aren’t on that list. That means they want to get this over with as fast as possible. Instead of taking the time to brush and floss properly., they do it as fast as possible. That way, they can say they did it and get to something more fun.
Unfortunately, this can happen repeatedly without you knowing it. That means your children’s teeth aren’t really getting clean. This can lead to problems with tooth decay and gum disease in the future.
– Brushing right after eating or drinking acidic foods and drinks.
Many people think brushing right after you are done eating is the best thing for your teeth. Unfortunately, that is not always true.
Many foods are highly acidic. Tomatoes, vinegar, fruit juice, and soda all have acids that coat your teeth. If you brush right after you are done enjoying those, you are actually pushing acid deeper into your enamel. This can damage your enamel.
Instead of brushing right afterward, have your kids rinse their mouths out with plain water. That can wash away the acid and help brushing not actually hurt your kids’ teeth.
– Getting dehydrated and skipping fluoridated tap water.
Your mouth needs to be wet. Saliva helps make food easier to chew. But it also helps wash away food particles that get stuck on your teeth and gums. Harmful bacteria use those particles to grow, increasing your chance of tooth decay and gum disease.
Make sure you children stay hydrated. This prevents their mouths from drying out and missing the needed saliva. Also, give your child plenty of tap water. In Connecticut, it contains fluoride. This has been proven to strengthen your children’s teeth.
– Using a toothbrush with hard bristles.
When you clean your dishes, you tend to use a sponge. Steel wool is an option, but that can hurt your pots and pans if you use it often enough. The same is true when it comes to your children’s teeth.
Enamel is strong and durable, but hard bristles on a toothbrush can cause a small amount of damage to it. Over time, this can weaken your kids’ teeth. A toothbrush with soft bristles is strong enough to get their teeth clean without any damage.
– Riding bikes or playing rough sports without an athletic mouthguard.
Kids are prone to getting into accidents or just falling over, especially younger kids. They take all kinds of falls. They can also play rough in sports, as they are still learning their own strength and what’s too risky to do.
That’s why athletic mouthguards are so important. At our Bridgeport/Trumbull Line and Shelton, CT dental offices, your children can get customized mouthguards that fit comfortably in their mouths. These protect their teeth from getting damaged by taking a fall or playing too rough.
– Drinking too much fruit juice, especially right before bed.
Fruit juice is definitely better than soda because it has plenty of vitamins. However, it also has plenty of sugar and acid. Both can be bad for your teeth. That means your children’s dental health can be at risk of they drink fruit juice all the time.
That’s especially true if they’re drinking juices right before bed. The sugar and acid coat their teeth and gums. Since they won’t eat or drink until the morning, that means both sit on their teeth all night long. Giving them some plain water to drink can help wash both away.
Call either of our two Connecticut offices — Bridgeport/Trumbull at 203-372-1220 or Shelton at 203-378-9737 — to make an appointment for anyone in your family. Children’s dentistry is easy when you have the right training, tools, and experience.