Did you know that water is one of the best things for your child’s oral health? It’s true! Drinking water helps to keep teeth clean and healthy, and it can also help to prevent cavities. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of water for your child’s oral health, and we will provide some tips on how to get your child to drink more water.
The Importance of Water for Oral Health
Water plays an important role in oral health, and it can help to reduce the risk of cavities. Water helps to rinse away food particles, bacteria, and plaque that can build up on teeth. Drinking plenty of water also helps to keep the saliva in your mouth balanced which is important for preventing tooth decay. Additionally, some types of water contain fluoride which has been proven to be beneficial for protecting teeth from decay.
Healthy Beverage Intake is Critical in Childhood
It is important to encourage your child to drink plenty of water for their oral health. Water should be the beverage of choice for your child, and it is recommended that they drink according to their age and gender:
- 1-3 years old (girls and boys): 4 cups of water/day
- 4-8 years old (girls and boys): 4 cups of water/day
- 9-13 years old (girls): 7 cups of water/day
- 9-13 years old (boys): 8 cups of water/day
- 14-18 years old (girls): 8 cups of water/day
- 14-18 years old (boys): 11 cups of water/day
Beverages can make a significant contribution to dietary intake. So while it is ok to offer other drinks such as milk and juice in moderation, water should always be the go-to drink for your child. If your child does have a sweetened drink as a treat, it is best to consume it at mealtime. For snacks, on-the-go drinks, or night-time drinks on your child’s nightstand, it is best to choose water.
What is the Issue With Other Beverages?
Overconsumption of unhealthy beverages such as soda, sports drinks, and even 100% fruit juice can contribute to the risk of diet-related chronic diseases, such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay. These drinks are usually high in sugar and calories, which can cause weight gain and other health issues. Additionally, the acids in these beverages can erode tooth enamel and weaken teeth. Water is a much better choice for your child because it is calorie-free, sugar-free, and does not contribute to tooth decay or other chronic diseases.
What Type of Water Is Best for My Child?
Your child should hydrate their body every day by drinking fluoridated, uncarbonated, and unsweetened water. Fluoridated water contains fluoride which helps to strengthen teeth and reduce the risk of cavities. It’s also important that it is uncarbonated, as carbonation can weaken tooth enamel. And finally, it should be unsweetened because added sugars contribute to a higher risk of cavities.
Tips for Getting Your Child to Drink More Water
One of the biggest challenges parents face when it comes to getting their kids to drink more water is finding ways to make it fun. Here are some tips on how to encourage your child to drink more water:
- Let them choose their own water bottle.
- Add a piece of fresh fruit such as a strawberry or cherry.
- Freeze it and make flavored ice cubes.
- Use fun straws.
- Set an example by drinking more water yourself.
- Try adding cucumber or mint for a refreshing taste.
Convincing Your Child to Drink More Water
Water is an essential part of a healthy diet for children and adults alike. It is important to encourage your child to drink plenty of water every day in order to maintain good oral hygiene, reduce their risk of cavities, and protect them from chronic diseases. By utilizing the tips in this post, you can make water more enjoyable for your child and help keep their teeth healthy and strong!
At Southern Dental Associates, we are here to help you and your child to take preventative measures to ensure a healthy smile for years to come. Contact us today if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!