Preventing tooth decay with your children

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HEMINGFORD, Neb. Panhandle Public Health District is providing tips to keep your children’s teeth from decaying.

MGN

According to PPHD, the average teenage boy in the United States consumes 81 gallons of soft drinks each year.

This type of steady diet of sugary foods and drinks can ruin teeth.

When sugar is consumed repeatedly in high amounts, the sugar can provide food for bacteria which produces acid.

The acid can damage the enamel on the teeth.

To prevent teeth decay,
o Sugary foods and drinks should be consumed with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
o Limit between-meal snacks. If kids crave a snack, offer them nutritious foods.
o If your kids chew gum, make it sugarless. Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.
o Monitor beverage consumption. Children should make healthy beverage choices such as water and low-fat milk.
o Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits.
o Schedule regular dental visits.

For additional dental health basics visit http://www.pphd.org/Pages/dental_program.htm, http://www.mouthhealthy.org or call Kendra Lauruhn, Public Health Dental Hygienist, at Panhandle Public Health District at 308-633-2866 ext 106.