Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Diet and Fluoride for Children?s Dental Health

Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza at 10:41 PM
Diet and Fluoride for Children?s Dental Health

Although baby teeth are to fall out when a child is five to seven years old, baby teeth must be taken care of like these are permanent teeth because healthy baby teeth make way for healthy adult teeth. Luckily, periodontal disease and dental caries can be easily prevented by a well-balanced diet and good oral hygiene. Children have different food preferences from adults, but dentists like Dr. Hicham Riba believe that children must consume foods that make their bodies, including their teeth, healthy.

There are parents who strictly reduce their children’s candy consumption, and there are others who let children eat candy as long as the teeth are unharmed. There are sweets like dark chocolate, gummy worms, and sugar-free candies that are better for children than hard candy, caramels, and toffee.

Whether the parents’ household rules about eating candy are strict or more lenient, children must be taught to eat less sweets and more milk, meat, and vegetables.

Children and adults alike are advised to eat calcium-rich foods—dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. Calcium builds bone density and prevents bone diseases and tooth loss later in life. Children are also encouraged to keep playing outside, under the sun. Contact of sunlight on the skin stimulates the production of Vitamin D that also improves bone health. Catfish, tuna. and salmon are rich in Vitamin D.

Drinking lots of water is also good for the teeth as well as the rest of the body. While the rest of the body’s cells are hydrated thanks to drinking copious amounts of water, there is also better production of saliva. Saliva regulates the population of bacteria thriving in the mouth. Dentists like Dr. Hicham Riba also agree that eating sweets like caramels and toffee makes the mouth dry.

Whether children eat sweets a lot or very little, it is important that proper oral hygiene is practiced. Parents must help their children brush their teeth until they can write their own name, a sign of better hand coordination. Meat and vegetable particles as well as sugar clumps can get stuck in between teeth, risking dental caries or tooth decay. Parents must also teach their children to floss; flossing cleans the gums and teeth and helps the gums become stronger.

Dr. Hicham Riba and many other dentists recommend that children visit the dental office every six months and get fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a substance that can strengthen the enamel, the hard outermost layer of the tooth. It is found in many toothpastes and mouth rinses. For patients with naturally brittle teeth, dentists can give topical fluoride, a fluoride gel that the patient can bite on for a few minutes.


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