A balanced diet, with plenty of calcium and vitamin D to increase calcium absorption, should provide all the nutrients necessary to build strong teeth and keep gums and mouth tissues healthy. Young people can get adequate calcium from 3 or 4 daily servings of dairy foods, as well as from many other sources (eg, calcium-processed tofu, calcium-fortified orange juice, green vegetables such as broccoli).
The Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride reduces dental decay by making the enamel harder, reducing the ability of bacteria to produce acid that erodes enamel, and by replacing minerals in the teeth after they have been lost. In areas where the natural fluoride content of the water is low and water supplies are not fluoridated, or if your household uses bottled or reverse osmosis filtered water, pediatricians and dentists may advise fluoride supplements, fluoride toothpaste, or fluoride treatments to strengthen children’s tooth enamel against decay. Most bottled water does not contain adequate amounts of fluoride. Home water treatment systems like reverse osmosis and distillation units remove much of the fluoride from tap water. However, carbon or charcoal water filtration systems generally do not remove substantial amounts of fluoride.
Too Much Fluoride & Fluorosis
One of the complications of too much fluoride is dental fluorosis. Fluorosis ranges from minor white lines that run across the teeth to a chalky appearance of the teeth with brown staining. Fluorosis can be caused by prescribing fluoride supplements in communities with fluoridated water, or young children swallowing fluoridated toothpaste. To avoid this latter problem, children should use no more than a smear of fluoridated toothpaste before age 2, if your child’s pediatrician or dentist suggests using fluoridated toothpaste. For children older than age 2, use only a small pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Also, your pediatrician or pediatric dentist will know the fluoride content of your local water and can advise you if a supplement is necessary or excessive.
All sugars promote the growth of mouth bacteria that produce acid and cause tooth decay. Unrefined sugars such as honey, maple syrup, and molasses are just as damaging as refined white sugar in this respect. The worst offenders are the sugars in sticky foods that cling to teeth, such as dried fruit leathers and candies. Sodas and sweetened juice drinks leave the teeth awash in sugar. Cereals and other starchy foods, such as popcorn, leave a residue that bacteria rapidly convert to sugar.
Source:Nutrition: What Every Parent Needs to Know (Copyright © American Academy of Pediatrics 2011)
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.
We Look Forward To Welcoming You And Your Child…
You will find our office to be a pleasant and caring environment. We know a positive experience can set the tone for your child’s future dental health. That is why our office has been designed to be “kid friendly”. Even more importantly, our pediatric dentists and professional staff have dedicated their careers to helping children. We establish trust with your child by creating a safe and happy place for them to be. The latest in dental technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern.
We are open Monday through Saturday and offer appointments as early as 7:30am
The first checkup is recommended at the first birthday. Our patients generally stay with us until they graduate high school. We are proud to say we are now seeing the children of former patients, as the practice was established in 1973 by Dr. Robert Harmon.
We have 24 hour coverage for our patient’s dental emergencies. There is a pediatric dentist on call at all times. Should you need after hours advice or emergency care, simply dial our telephone number and our message will direct you.
Are we accepting new patients? Yes, absolutely! We are happy to welcome new patients to our practice and we appreciate your referring your friends and family to us.