When it comes to your children’s smile, there are many things you can do to help them develop healthier teeth and gums. We support the American Dental Association’s (ADA) slogan for 2021’s National Children’s Dental Health Month this February. The slogan is “Water, Nature’s Drink” and encourages all to make water your first drink of choice!
Water is crucial for your child’s body, brain development, and dental health, especially when trying to keep cavities away. Cavities form when your child consumes sugary drinks that allow the oral bacteria to turn the sugar into acid, which weakens their teeth and leads to white spots that can also turn into cavities and serious infections from the decay.
But healthy habits taught and ingrained when a child is young can serve them with a healthier smile spanning their lifetime. And a lifetime habit of turning to water with meals or in between meals can help keep their teeth healthier and brighter as they reach adulthood!
As your child’s smile grows, you want to make sure they brush their teeth at least twice a day using toothpaste. Be sure they floss between their teeth once a day to clear away the oral debris their toothbrush cannot reach. Do not forget to provide them with nutritious food that limits their sweet drinks and snack intake. This daily care, combined with their routine dental checkups, can help your child have a healthier mouth and body.
Why Drink Water?
Your child’s body is made of 60% water. Hydrating with this clear beverage removes waste while distributing nutrients via the bloodstream, regulating their body temperature and helping keep their muscles moving. Water, especially fluoridated water, can help your child’s teeth remain strong. When they drink water, you are giving them nature’s “cavity fighter.” Unlike juices, sodas, and sports drinks, water leaves no unhealthy residue behind that can feed the cavity-causing bacteria in their mouth that wears down tooth enamel.
Clean Their Mouth With Every Sip
In contrast, plain water will help clean their teeth and gums every time they take a sip while diluting harmful acids created by oral bacteria. Water is also your children’s best proponent of saliva production. Saliva acts as their first line of defense against cavities by protecting their smile by fighting dry mouth. Saliva allows them to normally swallow while bathing their chompers in enamel-strengthening proteins and minerals like calcium and phosphate. It also helps balance the Ph level of the mouth. Unlike sweetened drinks that often lead to tooth decay, water protects your children’s growing smile!
If your child likes drinking juice, remember that juices are not always healthy. They are filled with concentrated levels of sugar, providing little in the realm of nutrients. Instead, why not give your child the fruit itself, like apples, pears, grapes, or oranges, so they can get those nutrients along with a healthy dose of fiber. They are especially healthy when combined with tooth-friendly cheeses and fresh vegetables. Every time your child drinks water, it helps remove those stray bits of food particles and oral bacteria that otherwise thrive in the mouth when sugar is consumed. Drinking water is a great way for your child to rinse their mouth between normal daily brushing and flossing.
Join us in celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month with this year’s slogan, “Water, Nature’s Drink!” to support and promote better oral healthcare. As part of this month’s national health observance, we unite with all professionals, healthcare providers, and educators for your child’s best oral health. Please give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s developing smile. We look forward to helping create healthy habits for a lifetime of healthier smiles!
Just For Fun: Download the ADA’s 2021’s National Children’s Dental Health Month Activity Sheets for Kids “Water, Nature’s Drink!”