Celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks, friends and food. If you’re in the Boise area for the holiday, check out these events. But in planning your Independence Day party, remember to serve some healthy fare – like fruits and vegetables. Starting your kids on a healthy diet early is good for both their bodies and their teeth.
Today, more than 25% of children ages 2-5 have cavities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 50% of all children in lower-income families and more than two-thirds of adolescents ages 12-19 have had decay.
Children who have cavities are more likely to suffer from pain, lost school time and have trouble eating, speaking, and studying. Children are at higher risk for cavities and gum problems because their teeth are still developing.
Here are a few tips to keep cavities away from kids this summer:
- Serve your children a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Limit sweet and starchy foods like potato chips, cookies, candy, sugary drinks, and other junk food. These foods come into contact with the bacteria in your child’s mouth and create acids, which attack the enamel on teeth, causing cavities. If your children do eat sweets, encourage them to brush their teeth afterward to get rid of the remaining food particles in their mouths.
- If you give your child a bottle at naptime, fill it with water. Avoid putting babies
- to bed with a bottle filled with juice or other sugary drinks. The liquid will pool on the child’s teeth and gums, causing decay.
- Watch your child’s brushing and flossing. Make sure they brush twice a day with a soft, child-sized toothbrush designed especially for their ages. And be sure to take your children to the dentist regularly.
Learn more about how to keep your child’s smile healthy all year round.