5 Secrets Every Mother Should Know In Order To Prevent Decay In Her Children
School is right around the corner. Soon youll find yourself making lunches or sending your children to school and allowing them to participate in the lunch program. Unfortunately the school setting is one environment where it is simply not cool to brush after every meal. Parents do not despair! This article will provide 5 simple things you can do to prevent decay in the teeth of your children.
The first thing you can do which will reduce cavity formation in your childrens teeth is place water in their lunch not fruit juice or soda pop. Often parents will not count soft drinks as a junk food because it is a drink. It may be true that a soft drink does not contain fat but these drinks have as much sugar as an entire bag of candy. Soft drinks are made up of water, artificial coloring, and sugars. A can of Coke has 39 grams or 9.75 teaspoons of sugar. A can of Pepsi has 41 grams or 10.25 teaspoons of sugar. The bacteria, in your mouth, converts sugar into an acid. It is this acid that destroys the enamel on your teeth and initiates the formation of decay. This is how decay starts. On top of the sugar these soft drinks contain phosphoric and citric acids, as flavor enhancers, which eat away at the enamel on your teeth. And if you think that diet soft drinks are better- you are wrong. There is an entire article that could be written on the artificial sweeteners and how deleterious these are to your health. Diet soft drinks are more acidic and more harmful to tooth enamel.
Fruit sodas, especially lemon and lime are usually kept clear and transparent with sugar. In diet sodas the sugar is replaced by stannous chloride (a form of metal tin) as a clarifier. It is possible for bacteria in the intestine to convert the tin to chemicals that can affect the brain. Manufacturers could use Vitamin C as a clarifier but it is more expensive.
Some fruit juice drinks have more sugar and are more acidic than soft drinks. These drinks definitely have more vitamins and minerals than soft drinks and from a nutritional standpoint are far superior to soft drinks. As far a preventing decay these beverages also provide a sugar acid bath for your teeth.
Water plays a fundamental role in our health. Drunk on a daily basis in sufficient quantity, it not only maintains the body in good working order, but can also prevent and heal many disorders and health problems.
Vitamin C is the second item in our list. Research performed by Emanuel Cheraskin, a doctor and a dentist, found that 500mg of vitamin C per day improved gum disease- even if you did not brush your teeth! He gave 500mg of Vitamin C to young boys and checked the health of their teeth and gums 90 days later. He found that no matter how poorly or how well the boys brushed their teeth, those that took Vitamin C had healthier mouths. Making your child take vitamins before they leave the house in the morning is an easy and cost effective way to prevent decay.
The third item on our list is the spin brush. A spin brush is a mechanical brush which aids in keeping teeth and gums cleaner and healthier. Research has shown that in certain instances a childs oral hygiene can be 60% better with a mechanical brush than when using a manual tooth brush. Many of the newer models also contain a timer to assist children in brushing their teeth for two minutes. If children would brush properly for 2 minutes they wouldnt need a mechanical brush; but if your children are anything like mine we were solving physical science problems such as how come their tooth brush was dry and they had just finished brushing their teeth. A mechanical brush helps everyone.
Lunch snacks are number 4 on our list. Most snacks that school children have in their lunch contain too much sugar. An important mechanism that protects teeth, from the acids that bacteria make, requires calcium. In the presence of acid tooth enamel releases calcium and phosphate, these minerals work together to neutralize the bacterial acid. If calcium levels are low as a result of excess sugar, the teeth are unable to buffer the deleterious effects of bacterial acid. Sugars are carbohydrates! Sugars are called simple sugars and carbohydrates are complex sugars.
Food ingredients which end in ose such as sucrose are sugars. These include high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, and lactose. Corn syrup and corn syrup sweetener contains fructose; honey contains glucose. Fruits contain fructose and glucose. There are also sugar alcohols that end in ol such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and malitol.
Xylitol is a unique sweetener in that it is made from birch trees and inhibits bacterial growth. The bacteria cannot use this sugar for energy and thus is unable to turn this sweetener into acid. Xylitol sweetened gum increases saliva flow. Increased saliva flow will gives the teeth a shower- clearing acids and carbohydrates away from the teeth. Saliva also contains minerals that are deposited on the surface of teeth making them stronger when acid levels are high.
SUGAR CONTENT OF COMMON FOODS
Skittles 2 oz 11.25 tsp
Oreos (6) 6.5 tsp
Double Fudge Brownie (3oz) 11.75 tsp
Cranberry Juice Cocktail (8oz) 6.25 tsp
McDonald,s Vanilla Shake 17.75 tsp
If you give your child sweets it should be fresh fruits and vegetables. These natural sweets are loaded with minerals, vitamins, proteins, fiber, and other nutrients. They also contain fiber, which slows the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. This is the one area where you can make a big difference in preventing decay. However it will also be one of the hardest areas where your children will fight your best efforts to improve their health.
Secret number 5- the placement of dental sealants on your childs back teeth. Dental sealant (also called a pit and fissure sealant) is a plastic, professionally-applied material that is put on the chewing surfaces of back teeth to prevent cavities. Sealants provide a physical barrier so that cavity-causing bacteria cannot invade the pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth. They are very effective at preventing cavities. The application of dental sealants is painless- so there are no needles, requires no drilling, and the hardest part of placing the dental sealant is keeping the tooth dry with cotton rolls.
Approximately 90 percent of the decay in childrens teeth occurred in tooth surfaces with pits and fissures, and almost two-thirds were found on the chewing surfaces alone. Dental sealants have been shown to prevent decay on tooth surfaces with pits and fissures. Sealants have been approved for use for many years and are recommended by professional health associations and public health agencies.
First permanent molars erupt into the mouth at about age 6 years. Placing sealants on these teeth shortly after they erupt protects them from developing caries in areas of the teeth where food and bacteria collect. If sealants were applied routinely to susceptible tooth surfaces in conjunction with routine dental check-ups, most tooth decay in children could be prevented.
Second permanent molars erupt into the mouth at about age 12 years. Pit and fissure surfaces of these teeth are as susceptible to dental caries as the first permanent molars of younger children. Therefore, young teens need to receive dental sealants shortly after the eruption of their second permanent molars.
The potential to develop pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But some adults at high risk of decay can benefit from sealants as well. Your dentist can tell you if you would benefit from dental sealants.
Good luck on your journey for improved dental health for both you and your children.
* Send water to school with your child
* Vitamin C 500mg per day
* Spin Tooth Brushes
* Snacks which include fruits and vegetables
* Dental sealants
by: Mary Grace JacksonAbout the Author:For a gentle dental experience and a healthy more confident smile, visit Dr. Kevin Flood's Dental Clinic and Wellness Center in Grand Rapids, MI. Check out their website at http://www.grandrapidsdental.net/.