Tooth enamel is the first line of defense your teeth have against plaque and cavities. It is the white, visible part of the tooth and it is also the hardest part of the human body. Unfortunately, tooth enamel takes a lot of abuse from sugar, bacteria and other degenerative factors. So how can you protect your child’s tooth enamel? Below are a few tips to keep enamel strong, and protect your kids from cavities.
Get a Soft Toothbrush
You might think that a hard bristled toothbrush would be best to remove tough food from your child’s teeth, but that’s not the best way to brush a child’s teeth. Parents should use a soft bristled tooth brush for children because it is easier on their sensitive teeth and gums. If you use a harder toothbrush, it’s likely to damage their gums and wear down their enamel.
Limit Starchy Foods
Chips and fries are unhealthy for your body, but they’re also bad for your teeth. That’s because starch quickly metabolizes into sugar, which is a breeding ground for bacteria that eats away at tooth enamel.
Floss Every Day
Brushing only covers about 1/3 of total teeth surface area, which means that nearly 2/3 of teeth aren’t being cleaned well enough. Debris left in between teeth can cause plaque buildup and cavities, which is why it’s important to floss once per day, and to make sure that you’re cleaning both sides of their teeth.
Pro tip: begin flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth touching.
Dairy products are dental super foods, that’s because dairy neutralizes damaging acids and is a great source of casein, which acts as an enamel protector. We suggest giving your child cheese or nonfat Greek yogurt as an after school snack!
Rinse After Meals
Drinking water after a meal is an awesome way to remove some leftover food debris from in between teeth. Have your children swish cool water around in their mouth for about 20 seconds after a meal to help remove food from in between their teeth.
Avoid Whitening Toothpastes
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. When shopping for dental products, always look for the ADA seal of approval.
Find a Pediatric Dentist Near You
Pediatric dentists specialize in caring for young teeth, and will be able to assess the state of your child’s tooth enamel during a regular office visit. Use our search page to find a pediatric dentist near you!