Hello Twin Cities! Welcoming back to the ongoing blog of Serafimov Dental, written from our state-of-the-art office in West St. Paul, MN.
Are you ready for your kids to be back in school? Kids get a great education in math, science, and the language arts at our schools. But often their education about oral health lags behind other subjects. For that reason, we thought we’d use today’s blog to share some quick tips for avoiding cavities. These are great and simple ways to keep your child’s smile looking fresh for his or her school pictures.
Chew Sugar-free Gum
Saliva is your mouth’s natural defense against cavities. As you eat, microscopic residue from food is often left on your teeth and along your gums. This residue attracts bacteria; bacteria eventually turns into a nasty, acidic film of plaque. Plaque is a direct precursor to cavities because it eats away at the enamel of your teeth.
When you chew sugar-free gum, your mouth naturally produces more saliva. Saliva helps wash both residue from food, as well as bacteria from your mouth. It’s important that you choose a sugar-free variety of gum; sugared gum can actually attract more bacteria to your teeth, and heighten your risk of cavities.
Sure your child is probably not allowed to chew gum in school, but you may want to give them some for after school activities and on the weekend.
Eat More Fiber
Foods that are high in fiber can also help increase your mouth’s production of saliva. It’s also easier to increase your fiber intake than you may realize. You can start by adding spinach, kale, or carrots to your salad. There are also many great tasting fruits, such as apples and pears, which are high in fiber. You can add these tasty foods to your dinner time routine, and ensure your child is getting more fiber.
Another easy way to increase your fiber is by switching to whole wheat bread and pasta. Not only are whole wheat grains high in fiber, they are a healthier alternative than products made from white flour. White bread and other starchy products made from white flour can be as damaging to your teeth as sugar. These high in carbohydrates foods breakdown into simple sugars as you digest them, leaving bacteria attracting sugar all over your teeth. So when you’re packing your child’s lunch, consider making their peanut and jelly sandwich with whole wheat bread.
Drink Tap Water
It’s always a good idea to drink more water. Water is nature’s best medicine. But you don’t have to spend the money on expensive bottled water to receive its benefits. In fact, tap water is actually better for your oral health than bottled water. This is because public and municipal supplies of water are enriched with fluoride.
Fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpaste, and one of the most important tools in fighting cavities. This is because it strengthens the enamel of your teeth, making them more resistant to bacteria and plaque.
So instead of keeping bottled water or sports drinks in your refrigerator, fill a pitcher with tap water instead. You can also purchase a reusable sports bottle or two to make drinking tap water more convenient for you and your children.
Make An Appointment
The way to keep your kid’s mouth free from cavities is to make an appointment for them at our office. During a routine appointment, we will clean plaque and tartar from hard to reach places in their mouths. Some plaque and tartar cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone, which is one of the reasons why the American Dental Association recommends have your teeth cleaned every six months.
We’ll also educate your children about oral health, and screen them for Gum Disease and Oral Cancer. If they have a cavity, we can make a plan to fill it quickly and painlessly. Preventative dental care such as this will save you time and money in the long run.
You may also want to educate your children by leading by example, and making an appointment for yourself. As you age, your gums recede a little bit. This leaves more of your teeth vulnerable to decay, and hard to reach plaque and tartar. Adults are actually at just as much of a risk for cavities as children.
We are currently offering our patients a dental exam, teeth cleaning, and set of dental x-rays for only $79. Click here to make an appointment at Serafimov Dental in West St. Paul, MN.