Did you know that the human mouth is constantly teeming with bacteria? While much of this bacteria is the good sort — and useful in fighting of potentially evil intruders — the bad does lurk there as well. Though not present at birth, that bacteria quickly finds its way to a child’s mouth and, without proper care, the bad can soon overwhelm the good. Surely, you have seen evidence of this – children with fillings, caps, and other such dental treatments. The bacteria, which feed on the very same sugars that children adore – in the form of cookies and candies, but also milk and juice – they create an acidic byproduct that is responsible for causing decay.
Day-To-Day Battle It’s not time to recruit a dentist in Batrop, TX to affix dental veneers, but you also don’t your child walking around with a mouth full of silver fillings and caps. Unfortunately, all too often dentists are forced to pull baby teeth, fill cavities and encase damaged teeth in an order to prevent the spread of bacterial infection through the mouths of children. That is why regular oral health care, such as brushing and flossing is essential when trying to beat the bad bacteria, even for the youngest children. Brushing can be made more entertaining for young children by integrating some other element. Singing toothbrushes, readily available today, are excellent for teaching children the necessary amount of time for cleaning teeth properly. However, you might consider making a game of the time spent on oral care. See who can build up the most foam in his mouth, who can hum the loudest while brushing, or who can open his mouth the widest. There are also other products on the market designed to help kids learn to love tooth care. Mouth rinses that highlight areas of plaque are excellent for educational and entertainment purposes. Kids will love seeing their mouths highlighted in blue, green, or red. Furthermore, spin brushes, toothpaste feature favorite cartoon characters, and neon floss sticks have proven very effective at winning children over.
Eating and Drinking Wisely Even before a baby is old enough to start brushing, there are things that a parent can do to reduce the bacteria forming in the mouth. One of the most common things that parents do wrong in this regard is to put a child to bed with a bottle of milk. Though good for the body, and even the teeth, in many ways, milk does contain natural sugars upon which the bacteria feed. Over time, this habit can wreak serious havoc in the mouth and lead to major dental problems at a very early age. If the child needs the comfort of a bottle, it is recommended that water be substituted for the milk.
During the day, there are a number of healthy food choices that encourage good oral health and others that will do more damage than good. Sugary beverages should be avoided. Even 100% juice products can be very acidic and contain large amounts of sugar. Rather than allowing the child to carry a ‘sippie’ of such drinks around the house, give juices only at meal times and provide water the rest of the day to keep the mouth clean. Citrus fruits, similarly, are hard on the teeth because of the acid content and should be followed by a glass of water. However, crunchy vegetables are excellent for encouraging saliva production (which helps keep the mouth clean) and for reducing build-up on the teeth
If a cavity is detected between regularly scheduled dental visits, an appointment should be made right away. Most of the dentists in Bastrop, Texas have a website with more information on how to keep teeth clean and the mouth safe from dangerous infections. It should also provide operating hours and phone numbers, so you can call to schedule that needed appointment.
Chad Byler, DDS, PA
201 Hunters Crossing Blvd. #16
Bastrop, Texas 78602
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