Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Care for your pearly whites!

Do you know the single most common chronic childhood illness?
It is Tooth Decay.
It is estimated that more than half of children aged 5-17 years have it!
Dentists have a saying, 'Snack and sip all day, risk decay.' Constantly bathing the teeth in sweetened beverages and unhealthy snacks is like providing an all-you-can-eat buffet for the bacteria in your mouth -- the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
So here are some meal and snacking tips to keep tooth decay at bay:
  • Decrease intake of Fizzy drinks like Coke and Pepsi and high sugar snacks; they are no good for your teeth.
  • Sugary foods and drinks consumed as part of a meal are less harmful than when they're consumed as a snack. That's because saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
  • Limit between meal snacks.
  • Brush teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily, it is extremely important to brush at night to avoid cavities.
  • Encourage your children to eat more fruits and vegetables, less sweets.
  • Regular dental visits starting at 1-2 years and done 6 monthly are important to get your child to appreciate dental hygiene.
  • In case you find any evidence of plaque or suspicion of tooth decay, consult your dentist.

More information on this subject can be had from the American Dental Association link on oral health.


Garima Agrawal said...

I was shocked to learn that common kiddy breakfast cereals may have very high sugar content. Lucky thing all major brands are now coming up with "reduced sugar" versions of breakfast cereals. Say doc, is it true that too much sugar can cause a "high" in kids leading to over-excitement or even anxiety?

Anonymous said...

It's good to see the doctor stress diet for good dental health. Linking to the American Dental Association for good dental health information is questionable at best. Their emphasis is on fluoride - in water, toothpaste, supplements, varnish, treatments, tooth filling material, take-home gels, and even more.

It's important for parents to know that too much fluoride can ruin children's teeth and, especially that using fluoridated water to reconstitute infant formulas is greatly increasing the risk of dental fluorosis - white spotted, yellow or brown permanently stained teeth. This at the same time that children's cavity rates are on the rise.

See More Here:
"Avoid Feeding Infants Fluoridated Water"


New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation
http://www.orgsites.com/ny/nyscof (nyscof@aol.com)

Fluoride NewsTracker Blog