Ways To Keep Your Child’s Teeth And Gums Healthy

There are many different daily habits that can ruin your child's oral health. Nevertheless, there are things that you can do as a parent to keep your little one's teeth and gums in optimal condition. Here are a few of them.

Replace Regular Candy With Sugarless Varieties

Candy and other sweet snacks can quickly cause the formation of cavities. Dental cavities occur when bacterial acids cause the dissolution of the minerals that make up the enamel. 

As calcium and other important minerals are dissolved, the tooth enamel weakens. Additionally, holes, which are called cavities, form.

Nevertheless, the cavities only occur if there is acid in the mouth. Bacterial acids form as the byproducts of the microbial digestive process. 

Bacteria feed on available simple carbohydrates in the mouth, such as those in candy. As they digest the carbohydrates, they release byproducts, which include acid.

To reduce the number of carbohydrates available to the oral bacteria, candy should be replaced with sugar-free alternatives. Sugarless candy is typically sweetened with substances that cannot be digested by the bacteria of the mouth. As a result, the sugarless items do not cause tooth decay. Still, keep in mind that even if your child is no longer consuming regular candy, starchy foods may be readily converted into sugars.

Stop Your Child From Biting His or Her Nails

Nailbiting is a common habit. Many people, including kids, bite their nails during periods of stress or boredom. Although the practice may appear harmless, if your child bites their nails, the habit can damage the gums or even result in an infection.

As your child bites their nails, small pieces of dislodged fingernails can become trapped between the teeth or between the teeth and gums. The bits of the fingernail can be sharp enough to cut and inflame the gums. Additionally, if they become caught between the teeth, they may cause discomfort and harbor plaque. 

If cuts to the gums do develop, the tissues can become infected. The infection may be difficult to eradicate if pieces of the fingernail remain caught beneath the gums.

Reduce Juice Intake

Children are often offered juice because of the beverage's vitamin content. However, fruit juices are also high in sugar. Additionally, they may be highly acidic. 

Instead of fruit juice, encourage your child to drink sugar-free, neutral beverages, such as water. Water can help neutralize the acids of the mouth and flush away plaque.

For more information about protecting your child's oral health, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area, such as at Alaska Dentistry For Kids.