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 is almost always under stress by external factors like dietary choices and the type of toothpaste someone uses. Here’s what parents need to know about tooth enamel, and how they can help their children keep their tooth enamel strong.
Fight Enamel Erosion
Enamel erosion often results in tooth discoloration, causing teeth to look yellow. It can also cause shiny spots to appear on teeth. People suffering from enamel erosion often report sensitive teeth as their primary symptom. There are many factors that cause acid erosion, but sugary drinks do most of the damage. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), soft drinks are the most frequent source of erosive acids, due to their high acidity and frequency of consumption. Try cutting back the amount of soft drinks that your child enjoys to improve the health of their enamel, and prevent enamel erosion.
Establish an Oral Health Routine
Food debris left on teeth encourages bacteria growth that eats away at enamel and causes cavities. This is why it’s important to brush twice per day, for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day to clean debris from the hard-to-reach areas of teeth. By getting your child into the right oral care routine, you can keep their teeth free of damaging food debris and keep their tooth enamel strong and functional.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is fantastic for a healthy mouth in a lot of ways. For instance, water helps clean teeth of food debris that can lead to tooth decay and cavities. But, did you that saliva is critical in keeping tooth enamel strong? Saliva is the body’s natural way to rid teeth of food debris, and keep the mouth at a healthy Ph level. Saliva is also 99% water, so make sure that your child drinks plenty of water to keep their teeth debris-free, and their enamel strong.
Don’t Use Teeth as Tools
Cracked and fractured teeth are the third leading cause of tooth loss. If your child decides to use their teeth for anything other than eating, then they face an increased risk of damaging their teeth and cracking their tooth enamel. You can help your child avoid these risks by teaching them not to use their teeth as tools.
Use Fluoridated Toothpaste
Toothpaste with fluoride strengthens enamel through a process called remineralization. Buy toothpaste with fluoride that is age-appropriate for your child, and choose one that is not whitening toothpaste, which can contain abrasives that wear down tooth enamel. When choosing fluoridated toothpaste for your child, make sure that it has the ADA seal of approval to ensure that it has been rigorously tested and approved.
Find a Pediatric Dentist Near You
Your child’s oral health can be greatly improved by getting them a dental home that they are comfortable visiting time and again. If your family doesn’t have a dental home yet, then use our Pediatric Dentist Locator Tool to find reputable pediatric dentists near your family today.