If you are a busy parent, you may be concerned about maintaining your child's teeth while you are on the go. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to find a suitable restroom for your child to brush his or her teeth when you are away from home. However, there are still measures that you can take to keep your child's teeth healthy while you and your little one are busy running errands. Here are two:
Take along sugarless gum.
Immediately after your child eats or drinks something other than water, offer the child his or her favorite flavor of sugarless gum. The gum will help dislodge food particles that may have become caught between teeth, stuck along the gum line or settled into the crevices of a molar's chewing surface. The dislodged food is often swallowed as your child chews the gum. However, if it is caught in the sticky substance, your child can discard the gum for a new piece.
Chewing gum also increases saliva production so that cavity-causing bacteria and plaque are washed away from the teeth and swallowed. This benefit may be overridden when you chew sugared gum, which feeds bacteria and encourages the population growth of these microorganisms. However, sugarless gum doesn't usually offer a food source for hungry oral bacteria, so its benefits are not negated.
Sugarless gum that is sweetened by a natural sweetener called xylitol may offer even more dental health benefits by discouraging cavity formation and reducing the development of plaque.
Pack a bottle of fluoridated tap water.
If the tap water in your home is fluoridated, fill a water bottle with it and take it along when you leave the house. After each meal or snack, have your child swish the water around his or her mouth and spit. He or she should repeat this action until no more food particles are released into the water.
Since particles of food and oral bacteria mix to form plaque, it is important to remove leftover food debris after eating. In addition, the fluoride content in the tap water can help strengthen your child's teeth. The restorative action of fluoride causes it to draw calcium and phosphate to the surface of your youngster's tooth enamel. Fluoride combines with these compounds to form a new mineral to remineralize and harden teeth.
If you often take your child along as you run errands and take care of business, you may be concerned that his or her oral health is suffering. By taking a few protective measures, you can help ensure that your time away from the house doesn't negatively affect the youngster's teeth and gums. For more ways to protect your child's oral health, contact a pediatric dentist such as Montillo Dental Associates Braintree.