LAKEVILLE, PRIOR LAKE AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – For the first time in 40 years, the number of preschoolers who are visiting their family dentist with cavities is on the rise.
“There are numerous factors that could be contributing to this trend,” said Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Lakeville and Minneapolis orthodontist. “Bottled water is thought to be just one of them.”
Even though bottled water is better for you and your kids’ oral health than sugary sports, energy and soft drinks, it can still cause decay because it does not contain as much fluoride as tap water.
A study published in 2009 in a journal titled “Pediatric Dentistry” found that 69 percent of parents who participated in the study give bottled water exclusively or with tap water to their children.
While you may provide your children with bottled water because it is beneficial to their overall health, most brands of bottled water do not contain the optimal levels of fluoride that are found in tap water and are essential to good oral health. This is an issue that is especially important regarding children 8 years old and younger because their teeth are still developing.
Even if you choose to use a home water filter system instead of bottled water, your children may still be at risk for developing cavities. Many water treatment systems reduce the amount of fluoride in tap water.
“Parents should not think that just because they are giving their kids bottled water to drink that they cannot consume the fluoride they need,” said Dr. Bonvino who is a provider of invisible braces in Minneapolis. “There are several measures parents can take to make sure their and their children’s teeth are protected from decay.”
There are a number of fluoride toothpastes, rinses and dietary supplements on the market, and most dentists offer in-office fluoride treatments that only take a few minutes to complete.
Other agents of decay that may cause the increase in the number of children getting cavities include frequent snacking, sugary beverages (especially when consumed before bedtime or naptime) and a lack of knowledge on parents’ parts regarding the American Dental Association’s recommendations about children’s dental visits.
The ADA advises that you take your children for their first dentist visit within six months of the eruption of their first tooth. This gives dentists an opportunity to check for signs of decay and advise you on habits such as thumbsucking that may harm the development of your children’s teeth.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your children visit your family dentist every six months so he/she can continue to monitor their progress and make sure that they are not at risk for cavities. These visits can also offer early diagnosis of your kids’ orthodontic problems.
“Some parents think their children are too young for braces or even a visit to the orthodontist,” said the provider of Minneapolis braces for children and adults. “The reason why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit by the time they are 7 years of age is because some problems need to be treated early on before they worsen and cause other issues.”
Long before your children are ready for their first orthodontist visit, it is important that you instill in them good oral health habits. If you help them brush their teeth twice a day and provide them with fluoride-containing beverages and food, they are less likely to develop cavities and be forced to undergo extensive dental procedures, including their St. Paul braces installation.
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