5 Tips to Stop Treats from Harming Your Child’s Teeth

Who doesn’t love summer? Summer means trips to the pool, county fairs, and baseball games! If your family is like most, you enjoy treats during these special events. Who doesn’t love funnel cakes at the fair, or a soft drink and a pretzel at a baseball game? Here’s how to prevent these summer treats from ending in a trip to the dentist.

There’s no doubt these treats are delicious, but they are also hard on your child’s developing teeth.

Sugary drinks and starchy snacks—like funnel cakes and pretzels—increase the amount of acid in your child’s mouth. While a cavity won’t form right away, these acids can attack tooth enamel almost immediately.

Enamel Erosion is the Immediate Worry

When acids harm tooth enamel, damage known as tooth enamel erosion occurs. Newly erupted teeth are the most vulnerable. Enamel erosion can lead to discolored teeth, tooth sensitivity, and eventually tooth decay. Since enamel can’t be repaired once the damage is done, we should take steps to prevent it from happening!

Five Easy Tips You Can Follow at Special Events to Prevent Enamel Erosion

So what is a parent to do? Say “no” to that cotton candy while at the fair? It’s true that choosing healthier snacks is an important part of good oral health. An apple, for instance, promotes healthy acid levels in the mouth. But the fair or baseball game maybe that one time you let your kids indulge in less healthy options.

Follow these tips to help minimize the risk of tooth enamel erosion and stop summer treats from harming your child’s teeth

  1. Pick a Treat Time: Pick one time during the special day that your child will be allowed to enjoy these types of treats. This type of exposure is easier on teeth than many small exposures that occur when sipping a soft drink or spreading cotton candy bites out throughout the day.
  2. Use a Straw: Drinking a soft drink—or other sugary drink—through a straw reduces the amount of contact the drink will have with teeth. Less contact is better for teeth!
  3. Water it Down: As soon as treat time is done, encourage your child to drink and rinse their mouth with water to reduce the acid levels in the mouth. Also, only offer water to your child at other times during the day to keep harmful acids from building up.
  4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum: If the child is old enough, let them chew on sugar-free gum to encourage saliva production. Increasing saliva in the mouth reduces acid levels.
  5. Brush at Home: Even if it’s not a regularly scheduled brushing time, have your child brush as soon as you get home. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children brush twice a day, but when sugary treats are in the mix, brushing a third time can be a charm!

Dr. Laura and Dr. Rachel hope you find these tips helpful and easy to incorporate into your next trip to the fair or ballpark!

If you have further questions or concerns about your child’s oral health, schedule an appointment with our office. We provide a fun, kid-friendly environment and a warm, experienced staff to help you promote the best oral health possible for your infants, toddlers, and teens. We are accepting new patients!

Great Beginnings Pediatric Dentistry serves patients from Twinsburg, Solon, Hudson, Stow, and the Greater Cleveland area.

Call our office today at (330) 425-1885 to schedule with Dr. Laura and Dr. Rachel.  Our pediatric dental office is located on Route 91, on the border of Solon and Twinsburg.  We are a close drive from Aurora, Streetsboro, Bainbridge, and Hudson, Ohio.

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