What you don’t know about your child’s teeth could be hurting them

For National Children’s Dental Health Month, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Shares Important Information To Keep Little Teeth Healthy

PR Newswire, CHICAGO, February 1, 2017
Nearly one in three children ages two to five years old in the U.S. are affected by tooth decay.1 February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) is sharing tips and tricks for parents on how to help their kids avoid tooth decay and cavities.

“Parents are bombarded with unsolicited advice and health findings that are constantly changing,” said Dr. Jade Miller, AAPD President. “We don’t want to add to that stress, but there are a few common misconceptions, that if cleared up, could help make a huge difference in your child’s oral health – which is linked to their overall health & wellness”

Tooth decay remains a top chronic infectious disease among children and can compromise the health, development and quality of life of children both in the short and long term.2 The good news is that it’s nearly 100 percent preventable. Following these four simple rules can significantly benefit children’s teeth by keeping tooth decay at bay:

  1. When it comes to sugary treats and beverages, it’s how often, not how much.
    Children (or adults for that matter) shouldn’t graze or savor candy and sugary drinks (including, sports drinks and juice). That prolonged exposure to sugar and acid can wreak havoc on teeth. Instead, stick to designated meal and snack times and have them drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  2. Don’t put babies to bed with a bottle.
    Milk and juice contain sugar. When babies are put to bed with a bottle of milk (or juice), the sugar from the milk coats their teeth the entire time they are sleeping causing tooth decay which is deemed “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.” If a bottle works to soothe a baby before sleep, opt for filling it with water.
  3. Wean children off of their pacifier by age three.
    It is completely normal for children to sooth themselves with a pacifier, however, prolonged use of a pacifier can increase the risk of cavities, and can affect the way a child’s teeth bite together, sometimes causing an overbite. Talk to your pediatric dentist who can assist in encouraging children to stop a sucking habit and discuss each child’s particular situation.
  4. Avoid topical teething gels and rings.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strongly warns against using teething gels that contain benzocaine or lidocaine because they can seriously harm your child. Parents and caregivers should stay away from teething rings too, which contain chemicals and low levels of BPA – despite labels citing otherwise – that can be harmful to your child.3

For more information about children’s oral health and to find a pediatric dentist in your area, visit mychildrensteeth.org.

About the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) is the recognized authority on children’s oral health. As advocates for children’s oral health, the AAPD promotes evidence-based policies and clinical guidelines; educates and informs policymakers, parents and guardians, and other health care professionals; fosters research; and provides continuing professional education for pediatric dentists and general dentists who treat children. Founded in 1947, the AAPD is a not-for-profit professional membership association representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Its 10,000 members provide primary care and comprehensive dental specialty treatments for infants, children, adolescents and individuals with special health care needs.

1,2 http://www.aapd.org/aapd%E2%80%99s_state_of_little_teeth_report_an_examination_of_the_epidemic_of_tooth_decay_among_our_youngest_children/
3 http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/acs.est.6b04128Courtesy B-roll Footage from AAPD

What your dental team is saying about eating more frequently

cut-vegetablesIf you are taking the approach to eating smaller more frequent meals daily, be aware the potential effects the increased consumption of food and beverages may have on your teeth.

While smaller more frequent meals are good for sustaining your energy throughout the day, it is important to realize your teeth may also be exposed to more acid attacks from both your oral bacterial metabolites and the pH fluctuations most food and beverages cause when consumed. Here is some advise we offer our patients who aren’t able to brush and floss after every snack or meal:

  • Always sip on water throughout the day.
  • Sometimes use a straw. Drink your carbonated beverages and sugary drinks through a straw to minimize enamel exposure.
  • Never swish, swirl or hold acidic drinks in your mouth.
  • Consider pairing your high acidic foods and drinks with lower acidic options.

Lower Acidic options: Milk, Cheese, Natural Yogurt, Yogurt Drink Orange, Probiotic Yogurt, Avocados, Broccoli, Cucumber, Black Olives, Peanut Butter, Bananas, Bread Rye, Wheat and White,  Barley,  Mineral Water

Higher Acidic options: Lemon Juice, Wine, Sports Drinks, Tonic Water, Cherries, Carbonated Soft Drinks, including Diet Soda, Oranges, Plums, Iced Tea, Blackberries, Blueberries and Strawberries, Grapefruit Juice, Pickles, Vinegar, Apple Sauce, Apple Juice and Apple Cider, Cranberries, Orange Juice, White Wine, Tomatoes

At Smile Envy, located in Grove City, OH, we are making sure you and your child’s dental needs are being cared for properly. When you visit we discuss the frequency of consumption of sugary foods and drinks while offering advice based on your needs . As a general dental office, we are experienced in caring for mouths of all ages. Healthy  habits take practice and as your dental team, located just 10 minutes from downtown Columbus, OH, we are dedicated to helping you and your little one’s take charge and prepare for a smile that will be healthy and strong for life!

Contact us today 614.801.0079 to experience friendly service, excellent results, and a beautiful smile.

-Your friends at Smile Envy, the Columbus dentistry experts

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We’re Drinking More and More

sodaboySoft drinks have emerged as one of the most significant dietary sources of tooth decay, affecting people of all ages. Sugar-free drinks, are less harmful.1 However, they are acidic and potentially can still cause problems. Larger serving sizes make the problem worse. From 6.5 ounces in the 1950s, the typical soft drink had grown to up to 20 ounces by the 1990s

Soft drink consumption in the United States has increased dramatically, especially among children and teenagers. The problem is so severe that health authorities such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have begun sounding the alarm about the dangers.

How many school age children drink soft drinks? Estimates range from one in two to more than four in five consuming at least one soft drink a day. At least one in five kids consumes a minimum of four servings a day.2

Children and adolescents aren’t the only people at risk. Long-term consumption of soft drinks has a cumulative effect on tooth enamel. As people live longer, more will be likely to experience problems.

What to Do

Children, adolescents and adults can all benefit from reducing the number of soft drinks they consume, as well as from available oral care therapies. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Substitute different drinks: Stock the refrigerator with beverages containing less sugar and acid such as water, milk and 100 percent fruit juice. Drink them yourself and encourage your kids to do the same.
  • Rinse with water: After consuming a soft drink, flush your mouth with water to remove vestiges of the drink that can prolong exposure of tooth enamel to acids.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse: Fluoride reduces cavities and strengthens tooth enamel, so brush with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash also can help. Over-the-counter mouthwash are available. Prescription strength fluoride toothpaste and oral rinses are available.
  • Get professionally applied fluoride treatment: Your dental hygienist can apply fluoride varnish after your cleaning

Soft drinks are hard on your teeth. By reducing the amount you drink, practicing good oral hygiene, and seeking help from your dentist and hygienist, you can counteract their effect and enjoy better oral health.Copyright 2008 Colgate-Palmolive Company.

References:

  1. Harnack L, Stang J, Story M. Soft drink consumption among US children and adolescents: Nutritional consequences. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 1999;99:436-444.
  2. Gleason P, Suitor C. Children’s diets in the mid 1990’s: Dietary intake and its relationship with school meal participation. Alexandria, VA: US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition and Evaluation;2001.

 At Smile Envy, located in Grove City, OH, we are making sure you and your child’s dental needs are being cared for properly. When you visit we review all aspects of home care. It is important to discuss the frequency of consumption of sugary foods and drinks. As a general dental office, we are experienced in caring for mouths of all ages. Healthy  habits take practice and as your dental team, located just 10 minutes from downtown Columbus, OH, we are dedicated to helping you and your little one’s take charge and prepare for a smile that will be healthy and strong for life!

Contact us today 614.801.0079 to experience friendly service, excellent results, and a beautiful smile.

-Your friends at Smile Envy, the Columbus dentistry experts

splash_smileenvy