A recent study found that just over 41% of children in the United States suffer from acid erosion – which is an acid attack on tooth enamel that can lead to cavities and tooth decay. But, you can keep your children’s enamel strong, and prevent cavities with a few simple methods.
Food and drinks high in citric acid erode tooth enamel in a process called demineralization. In bad cases of demineralization, acid will work its way to the soft layer beneath the enamel called the dentin. These advanced cases lead to tooth sensitivity and pain.
Water is a fantastic tool in the fight against acid attacks, and strengthen tooth enamel. Water is not acidic, and does not harm tooth enamel. It also improves saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth of debris and restores the mouth back to a healthy ph balance.
To take it a step further, you and your child should rinse their mouth out with water after each meal. This will wash away any food debris in their mouth, and help prevent cavities.
Calcium is a dental super mineral. That’s because it neutralizes damaging acids and is a great enamel protector. Try to add at least one dairy product to each of your child’s meals to provide them with adequate amount of calcium. If your family does not consume dairy, try introducing some of these other calcium-rich foods: almond milk, canned fish, kale, soy yogurt or soy beans. If you’re buying packaged food as a calcium source, check the packaging to ensure that there is an adequate amount.
Whitening toothpastes have abrasive properties that act like sandpaper on young teeth. The abrasive qualities wear down enamel, and leave young teeth susceptible to cavities. Instead of whitening toothpastes, look for toothpastes containing fluoride, which helps strengthen enamel.
Toothpaste with fluoride strengthens enamel through a process called remineralization. When choosing fluoridated toothpaste, make sure that it has the ADA seal of approval to ensure that it has been rigorously tested and approved.
The best way to prevent acid attacks is by brushing twice per day, for two minutes at a time. Brushing twice daily helps to clean food debris from the surface of teeth, which prevents acid buildup and cavities. But, brushing only does so much – flossing once per day should also be apart of your healthy oral routine.
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and the first line of defense against cavities and tooth decay. A thorough dental checkup can tell you whether or not your child has healthy enamel. Visit our office today so that we can check the state of your child’s oral health, and provide them with a plan for a oral health that lasts a lifetime.