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vitamins minerals child oral health

Top Vitamins and Minerals for Child Oral Health

Written by b2b on . Posted in Uncategorized

At Southridge Pediatric Dentistry, you could broadly categorize our children’s dental services into two categories. The first is our in-office services, which include everything from tooth cleanings to sedation dentistry and much more. The second, and one we’re proud to offer, is the expertise and tips we can pass on to parents for maintaining strong child oral care during the months in between your various kid’s dentist appointments.

One of the simplest and broadest areas of this expertise revolves around the things your children eat and drink. Most parents know common refrains here like avoiding too much sugar and junk food, but fewer are aware of the areas they should be promoting to their children – and why these areas are beneficial. With that in mind, here are several vitamins and minerals you can find in many popular food and drink products that benefit child oral care, plus how they do so.

vitamins minerals child oral health

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is known to help boost the immune system and assist with healing processes in several areas of the body, and the mouth is no exception. It’s a great tool for helping healing gums through antioxidant properties, and it’s also good for stopping gum inflammation at its source.

Much of this is done through the production of collagen, a natural chemical in the body that helps with cell repair and healing. Ingesting vitamin C helps prompt the body to produce more collagen. High quantities of vitamin C can be found in many citrus fruits.

Vitamin A

Another vitamin that’s great for general and oral health is vitamin A, which in the mouth is connected to saliva production. Saliva is a vital part of your mouth’s oral processes, helping clean the teeth of acids that would otherwise lead to tooth decay, enamel issues and dry mouth.

In addition, vitamin A produces significant mucous that helps line the cheeks, gums and other areas of the mouth. This protection makes these areas less susceptible to various diseases or infections. If you’re looking to up your child’s intake of vitamin A, consider foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, eggs and fish.

Vitamin D

The final vitamin on our list is vitamin D, which is vital because it allows the intestines to properly absorb calcium (more on this below) into the blood. Without vitamin D, the effects of calcium that we’re about to discuss would be useless to the body. Vitamin D is common in dairy, eggs and various fish.

Calcium

Calcium is present all over the body, assisting with building bones and teeth alike. We highly recommend prioritizing cheese-related sources of calcium – it’s available in virtually all dairy, but cheese in particular contains casein, a protein that specifically strengthens tooth enamel.

Magnesium

Another great mineral for the teeth is magnesium, which is yet another that helps the body absorb calcium properly. It’s found in a variety of products, including whole grains, leafy vegetables, beans, and various nuts or seeds.

For more on vitamins and minerals that benefit child oral health, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Southridge Pediatric Dentistry today.

preventing baby bottle tooth decay

Understanding and Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Written by b2b on . Posted in Uncategorized

Many parents, particularly new parents, may not realize the risks of tooth decay in their children. Tooth decay is one of the single most widespread diseases among children – it’s five times more common than asthma and over 15 times more common than diabetes, for instance.

At Southridge Pediatric Dentistry, our pediatric dental services include a full range of preventive areas designed to keep your child from the risks of tooth decay, from cleanings to X-rays and much more. One particular type of tooth decay that many parents aren’t aware of is called baby bottle tooth decay – let’s look at what this is and how you can prevent it from happening to your infant.

preventing baby bottle tooth decay

Basics and Signs

Baby bottle tooth decay is a form of tooth decay that happens to infants who use bottles, as the name suggests. It’s caused by prolonged exposure to high-sugar drinks in the bottle, and is known to primarily impact the upper front teeth – the ones that are closest to the bottle and tend to come into contact with it the most.

In most cases, the first visible symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay is white spots that begin to appear on the surface of the teeth or gum line. Your infant may also show some tooth sensitivity and pain in the area. If the condition is allowed to advance, you may also notice brown or black spots on the teeth, bleeding or swollen gums, bad breath, and even a fever. Any of these latter symptoms should cause you to seek dental care right away.

Prevention Tips

In most cases, however, you can avoid baby bottle tooth decay by taking a few simple precautions. These include:

  • Bottles and bed: For some parents, sending the baby to bed with a bottle of milk is a nightly ritual. But unfortunately, milk is high in sugar content, and leaving them with unlimited access to it raises their risk of exposure to this sugar. This same thing can be said for juice and bed, though there are some juice brands that at least limit their sugar content. If your child needs a bottle for sleep, we recommend using water only.
  • Cleaning: Even if your child does not have teeth that have grown in yet, wipe their gums off with a clean cloth after each meal to remove and lasting sugar.
  • First tooth: When your child does get their first tooth, brush it and all others gently with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Limit other exposure to sugar, both in drinks and in foods consumed by the child.

For more on how to prevent the risks of baby bottle tooth decay, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Southridge Pediatric Dentistry today.

avoidance areas child oral health

Understated Avoidance Areas for Child Oral Health

Written by b2b on . Posted in Uncategorized

As a parent, chances are you’re already locked into a good oral health routine for your child. Things like brushing twice a day, flossing regularly and avoiding too many high-sugar foods are fairly well-known elements here.

At Southridge Pediatric Dentistry, our dentists are here to help you promote and enhance these basic habits, but also to show you a few advanced areas where you can really put your child on the right track to a lifetime of oral health. Much of this comes back to avoidance – particularly for younger children, avoiding certain foods or habits can be enormously beneficial as this becomes the standard routine once they get older. Let’s look at a few practical avoidance areas to begin teaching them now.
avoidance areas child oral health

Fruit Issues

Let’s be clear up front: Fruit is generally a fantastic food group for children and really all humans, with tons of excellent nutrients for the body when served in traditional forms. When we talk about fruit issues relative to oral health, we’re really talking about two specific forms of fruit packaging:

  • Dried fruit: Dried fruit does have many of the same nutrients as standard fruit, but without much of the water or fiber that come in natural fruit formats. On top of this, dried fruit is much stickier than other forms, meaning it often remains on teeth and gums and attracts bacteria long after the meal or snack has ended. This, in turn, can cause tooth decay and cavity issues.
  • Jam-preserved fruit: Another fruit format is pieces packed in jam or syrup, which unfortunately are loaded up with tons of additional sugar. Also, like dried fruit, these products tend to lack the tooth-cleaning fiber that makes normal fruit so beneficial. You’re better off looking to traditional fruit formats instead.

Sweet Beverages

Most parents are generally good at limiting sweet foods for their children, but we can sometimes forget about sweet drinks as well. Many popular sodas, juices, sport drinks and others have huge amounts of extra sugar in them, which can damage tooth enamel and risk decay and cavities. Instead, we recommend water or flavored water add-ons that are healthy for teeth.

Ice Chewing

Whatever drinks you do serve your child, try to avoid accompanying them with ice. Children may enjoy chewing on it, but it can crack or chip their teeth. Plus, over time, chewing ice regularly wears down tooth enamel and makes cavities more likely.

Starches and Bread

We know you likely won’t be able to completely eliminate things like bread from your child’s diet, but finding ways to limit starches in general is beneficial. Starches are broken down into sugar by the mouth’s saliva glands, and they may become sticky and stay in the gums or the cracks of teeth, opening up the risk of decay. When you do serve starchy foods, have your child rinse their mouth our or brush their teeth afterward.

For more on understated avoidance areas for your child’s oral health, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Southridge Pediatric Dentistry today.

South Jordan Location
2651 West 10400 South
Suite 103
South Jordan, UT 84095
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
Tooele Location
1959 Aaron Drive
Suite E
Tooele, UT 84074