How to Protect Your Child’s Enamel

Houston Pediatric Dentistry Blog

How to Protect Your Child’s Enamel

Good dental hygiene goes beyond brushing. According to 9 out of 10 American dentists, there is a trend in enamel erosion in children. You can prevent the wear and tear of their teeth, specifically, the enamel requires a conscious effort.

The enamel is the hard substance that covers the teeth. It protects against decay and cavities. It can erode with the use of abrasive or acidic substances found in toothpaste or foods and drinks. Once it is gone, it can not be reversed and dental measure must be taken to protect the teeth.

You can protect your child’s enamel with healthy oral hygiene habits. This can include brushing technique and foods and drinks to watch out for. These steps will help you learn how you can protect their enamel and keep their smile bright.

Limit Acidic Foods and Drinks

Foods and drinks that have high acidity can erode the enamel on their teeth. This can include kid’s favorites like oranges and apple juice. You can either limit them or use methods to prevent erosion after eating or drinking them.

The best time to have these types of foods or drinks is at meal time. Cheese and milk are great options to neutralize the effects. If you eat them with or following foods or drinks that have acid, it will lessen the impact. Also, drinking more water and rinsing with water after meals will clear it from their mouths.

Beware of Sugar and Starchy Foods

Just like acidic foods, sugar and starches can wear down the enamel. Think of the sticky gummy candy and how they can stick to the teeth. Starchy foods, like potatoes, can be converted to sugar and can have the same effect. Liquid medicines also contain sugar and should be cleaned away.

To prevent erosion from sugar and starches, it’s important to remove the debris from these foods and drinks immediately after eating. The longer they’re on the teeth, the more chance of enamel erosion and eventual decay.

Choose a Soft Toothbrush

Brushing every day is the best way to keep your child’s teeth clean and cavity-free. When you choose a toothbrush, go for a soft bristle toothbrush over a medium or hard. Soft toothbrushes are gentle and effective for cleaning and removing plaque without wearing down enamel.

When they are old enough to brush on their own, it’s best to teach them how to brush their teeth. Use gentle brushing techniques to prevent aggressive brushing. Only use a pea-sized drop of toothpaste, spit it out then rinse.

Say No to Harsh Toothpaste

Look for a toothpaste with helpful and healthful ingredient fluoride. Flouride has been shown to strengthen enamel. It protects teeth from damage and decay and prevents cavities. It should also taste good because it encourages your child to brush daily.

Stay away from toothpaste with strong chemicals and abrasives. Even though you want your child to have a brilliant smile, using whitening toothpaste will cause damage. The harsh chemicals and abrasives will erode tooth enamel if it’s used long term.

When To See Your Houston Pediatric Dentist

Once you notice signs of decay, it’s time to make an appointment with your child’s pediatric dentist. The beginning stages of enamel erosion will be white spots on the tooth. It will continue to change in color, from brown to black, which will lead to decay of the tooth.

It’s best to see the dentist at the first sign before it progresses. Seeing a dentist regularly can also be a part of preventive care. They can provide guidance on ensuring your child keeps their teeth free of decay and cavities.

If you have any questions regarding your child’s dental care or to make an appointment with dental experts, please contact Houston Pediatric Dental Specialists. We have five locations in the Greater Houston Area and provide specialized care for children’s dental needs. Let us help keep their smile beautiful.

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