Healthy Do’s & Don’ts for Kids’ Teeth

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Some tooth-healthy dos and don’ts for your kid’s teeth:

1) Crunching ice and popcorn – Teeth are tough and made to last a lifetime eating a normal diet, but they do have a breaking point. Ice is tough – tough enough that glaciers carve mountains and an iceberg could peel open the Titanic. Chewing ice is a common habit; but even if this doesn’t cause a major break, it can lead to a network of tiny cracks that can develop serious problems as time goes on. Popcorn has its own dental danger, from husks that can easily become wedged between teeth to uncooked kernels that can damage teeth.

2) Use a straw/don’t swish – The impact of sweet and/or acidic drinks can be cushioned by getting into the habit of drinking through a straw aimed toward the back of the mouth. Swishing a drink through the teeth, however, intensifies the effect of both sugars and acids.

3) Use water as a mouthwash – Water makes the perfect rinse to clear sugars and acids after eating or drinking.

4) Be careful brushing – Brushing is recommended after every meal. However there’s an exception; if one has just eaten or drunk an acidic food or beverage, they should rinse with plain water to clear the mouth, and then wait at least a half-hour before brushing. After the acid bath, tooth enamel is more vulnerable to damage. Waiting a while gives saliva a chance to remineralize the teeth so the brushing doesn’t worsen damage.