The fact that 60% of our bodies are water confirms that water plays an essential role in our health. What you might not know is that water can also play a crucial role in maintaining your child’s dental health.
From washing away harmful bacteria to keeping the mouth moist, water serves as an unsung hero in preserving your child’s smile.
This is especially important for children whose oral hygiene habits are still developing and can ultimately affect their adult teeth.
In this blog, we discuss how water plays a crucial role in children’s oral health and give parents practical tips on how to promote good hydration habits.
Keeps the Mouth Fresh and Clean
Water acts as a natural rinsing agent, flushing out lingering residue and reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Drinking an ample amount of water throughout the day helps wash away food particles, cavity-causing bacteria, and debris that can accumulate in the mouth.
It not only quenches thirst but also keeps the body hydrated without contributing to dental problems, particularly because it’s completely sugar-free.
Unlike soda or sports drinks, water does not contain any added sugars or artificial sweeteners that can leave behind unwanted sugar on your child’s teeth and gums.
This helps them avoid the negative effects of excessive sugar intake, such as tooth decay and cavities.
Fights Dry Mouth
Water also plays a vital role in combating dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. Dry mouth occurs when there is insufficient saliva production, and since saliva is the first defense against tooth decay, dry mouth puts your child at a higher risk of cavities.
This can be an inherent or a secondary effect of a primary disease. Many medications, such as those that treat asthma, can cause dry mouth, so hydration becomes even more crucial in these situations.
Water acts as a natural lubricant, helping promote saliva production and restore moisture to the oral tissues.
Encouraging your child to sip on water throughout the day, especially during meals and snacks, can provide relief from dry mouth and its associated discomfort.
It is important to note that if your child experiences persistent dry mouth despite consuming enough water, it is best to consult a doctor.
How Can I Encourage My Child to Drink More Water?
We understand that It’s not always easy to get children to consume enough water, and this can often be a struggle for parents. But these handy tips below will help your child drink more water:
- Be a role model. Children are more likely to adopt a habit when they see parents or caregivers practicing them. Make sure you’re setting a good example by drinking water regularly throughout the day and making it a part of your routines.
- Set a schedule. Establish regular water-drinking times throughout the day, such as before and after meals or during breaks. Create a routine around water consumption.
- Make water easily accessible. Keep water within reach of children at all times. Have a designated water bottle for them that they can easily access when they are thirsty.
- Make it fun. Make drinking water a fun activity by using colorful cups, adding ice cubes, or using fun-shaped ice cube trays (you can find them on Amazon at an affordable price).
- Use fun containers. Invest in water bottles or cups with their favorite cartoon characters or superheroes. Having a special container designated for water can make it more appealing to drink.
- Use rewards and praise. Offer praise or small rewards when they make an effort to drink water. Positive reinforcement can help motivate them to make drinking water a habit.
To sum up, it’s important to prioritize encouraging children to drink water constantly throughout the day.
Water not only helps maintain their overall health and energy levels, but it also significantly aids in protecting and achieving optimal oral health.
In order to ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy, schedule your child’s appointment with us here at Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry!
Our dental team not only specializes in children’s oral care, but they also strive to provide excellent services within a comfortable and caring environment.