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Did You Know Saliva Promotes Healthy Teeth For Kids?
Saliva plays an important role in ensuring healthy teeth for kids and adults. While it is easy to think of saliva as something that is pesky and is likely to run down a toddler's chin, it actually has significant health benefits. Here are things that you may not know about this important bodily fluid.
Saliva contains more than water
Even though human saliva is 98% water, it also contains important enzymes and antimicrobial agents. These enzymes are important for digestion and for oral health.
What the enzymes do
The saliva enzymes begin the process of breaking down food particles while food is being chewed. This makes it an important part of the whole digestive process, especially when it comes to breaking down and digesting starches. This same process of breaking down food is important for dental health as well. Since food particles become trapped in between teeth and dental crevices, they could pose a danger to oral health. With enough saliva, the risk is less because the enzymes will begin to break down that food to protect the teeth from decay. This makes having a healthy amount of saliva incredibly important and necessary for maintaining healthy teeth for kids.
Producing enough saliva
Since saliva is mostly composed of water, it is important to remain hydrated in order for the body to produce sufficient amounts of it. We recommend that parents give their children water to drink throughout the day so they can remain hydrated, create the appropriate amount of saliva and maintain good oral health.
Signs the child is not producing enough saliva
If a child complains of discomfort when they are eating because their mouth is overly dry, it is likely that they do not have enough saliva. Again, this could be a sign of dehydration so it is important to give them a glass of water and make sure that they are drinking throughout the day.
Other benefits of saliva
In addition to helping maintain healthy teeth and proper digestion, saliva helps to keep the mouth fresh so that a person does not suffer from terrible breath. Since the body produces very little saliva during sleep, this is why so many people wake up with terrible morning breath. One way to reduce this is to keep a glass of water by the bed and to take a drink occasionally.
Schedule a dental examination
Saliva plays an important role in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. This does not mean it is the only thing that matters. It is still important for children to brush and floss throughout the day and to visit our office for an annual or biannual dental examination. During the appointment, we will remove any built-up plaque and tartar in addition to examining teeth and looking for signs of decay. If we find any, we can provide treatment and restore the tooth in order to make it possible that our young patients will have a healthy and beautiful smile.
To learn more about what it takes to create and keep healthy teeth for kids, schedule an appointment with our office and feel free to ask questions of the dentist during the examination.
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