Health and Wellness: National Children’s Dental Health Month
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The American Dental Association recommends children and adults brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Along with brushing, flossing and regular visits to your dentist, diet plays an important role in dental health.
Calcium, with plenty of vitamin D, can help your children’s teeth stay strong and their gums stay healthy. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for American calcium and vitamin D consumption, along with other nutrients, is so low in children and adults it’s become a public health concern. Majority of America’s intake of calcium comes from milk and milk products. The guidelines suggest consuming low fat or fat free milk and milk products to achieve the proper amount of calcium. Children from 4 to 8 years old should consume 2 1/2 cups of fat free or low fat milk and milk products. Three cups of fat free or low fat milk and milk products are the guideline’s recommendation for ages 8 and up.
Fluoride plays an important role in keeping enamel hard. Majority of Americans get plenty of fluoride from fluoridated water. If your family’s water is not fluoridated or they drink bottled water talk with your pediatrician or dentist about fluoride treatments or supplements.
When bacteria in your mouth comes in contact with sugar it produces an acid resulting in tooth decay. Americans get so much added sugar in their diets the American Dietary Guidelines 2010 deemed added sugar as a nutrient that needs to be limited. Majority of American’s added sugar come from drinks; like sodas, energy drinks, sport drinks and fruit drinks.
Limit your children’s consumption of sugary drinks and encourage them to drink water and low fat or fat free milk. Help your children have a happy and healthy smile by promoting proper dental health.