All About Building Strong Teeth

Tooth decay is a common problem in children, and it’s important for children to start building strong teeth when they are very young. Both tooth decay and gum disease are preventable if children learn the basics of building strong teeth and healthy gums early. Here’s a closer look at measures you and your child can use to build strong teeth that will last a lifetime.  

Limiting Foods that Damage Teeth

It’s easy to let your child indulge in sugary foods and drinks, especially since kids just love these items so much. However, it’s important to limit foods that damage teeth if you want to help your child build strong, healthy teeth. Sugar actually feeds the bacteria within the mouth, and these bacteria make acids that wear away and soften tooth enamel. Sugary soft drinks have acids in them as well, which can also result in further damage to teeth. Even diet soft drinks are acidic and can wear down tooth enamel.

Foods that Help Build Strong Teeth

While it’s important to limit foods that can damage your child’s teeth, it’s also important to make sure your child is eating foods that actually help build strong teeth. Foods that can help build healthy, strong teeth in your child include:

  • Dairy Products – Cheese, milk, and other dairy products contain calcium, which is essential for strengthening the teeth and jawbones. It also helps protect your child from gum disease. Beyond dairy products, great sources of calcium include dried fruits, beans, and greens.
  • Fruits – Fruits contain important nutrients that are important for healthy teeth and gums.  Bananas contain magnesium, which can help re-mineralize teeth. Strawberries and citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which can help build healthy, strong gum tissue, which is essential for healthy teeth.
  • Fatty Fish – Salmon and other fatty fishes are packed with vitamin D. This vitamin is important because it helps your body to better absorb calcium.

Brushing and Flossing for Strong Teeth

Good oral hygiene habits, including brushing and flossing regularly, are also essential to helping your child build strong teeth. The bacteria in the mouth form a film of plaque around the gums and on teeth, and if teeth aren’t cleaned regularly, the acids from that bacterial plaque can remove calcium from teeth. This weakens the enamel and can eventually cause cavities. To protect teeth, it’s essential to brush thoroughly a minimum of twice each day. Flossing is also important, since it helps clean between teeth where a toothbrush isn’t able to reach. Sometimes getting your child to brush and floss can be a struggle, but it’s essential that they adopt and keep these oral hygiene habits early to keep teeth strong and prevent oral health problems.

But Don’t Over-Brush

Brushing at least twice daily is essential for your child’s oral health, but make sure they aren’t over-brushing. Brushing too hard or too fast can wear down tooth enamel. To prevent this problem, make sure your child is using a soft bristle brush and brushing gently at a 45-degree angle. If your child eats citrus or sweets, they should wait for at least an hour before brushing, since these foods can soften enamel, making it more susceptible to damage.

Start Using Products with Fluoride

Fluoride is essential to building strong teeth in your child, and according to the American Dental Association, it’s a natural cavity fighter that repairs early tooth decay and strengthens tooth enamel. Regular use of fluoride also makes the teeth more resistant to the acids that come from oral bacteria and the acids found in foods. As soon as your child has a tooth, fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Adding a mouthwash that contains fluoride can also help strengthen enamel and prevent cavities in your child.

Schedule Regular Checkups and Cleanings

To keep your child’s teeth strong, it’s also important to make sure he or she visits the pediatric dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Your child should be seeing the dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings after the appearance of his first teeth. These checkups are important, since a dentist will be able to see any signs of trouble before they can do significant damage. Our pediatric dentistry can also help you make sure your child’s getting enough fluoride to keep teeth protected.

Use these helpful tips to ensure your child is building healthy, strong teeth as he grows. If it’s time for a checkup, schedule a checkup today with the staff here at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida.