So you may have heard conflicting opinions on the use of straws. Some people really feel that the use of straws help protect their child’s teeth from the onslaught of sugars and stains. Others claim the opposite. So which is true? Actually, it depends on how you are using straws and the frequency of sugary beverages in your child’s diet. Let’s discuss.
Call Li’l Sunshine Smiles Dentistry to answer any questions you have about safeguarding the health of your teeth.
Yes, straws can help eliminate the amount of contact drinks make with your child’s teeth. Especially the front teeth. But the positioning of the straw makes a big difference. If the straw is aimed toward the back of your child’s mouth, away from teeth, then it is true that the amount of liquid contacting teeth will be smaller than without a straw. But the fact remains that the tongue is in constant contact with the teeth. If soda touches your child’s tongue, those sugars, and stain-creating agents, will hit the teeth too.
Now, while straws do encourage more liquid drinking, they also encourage more soda drinking. Most beverages are high in sugar and acidity. Sugars and acidity aren’t good for teeth or our bodies.
If you think that using a straw protects your child’s teeth from the sugars and acidity of soft drinks there is a danger that you may begin to relax your stance on the frequency of soft drinks in their diet. And if you aren’t vigilant in monitoring their straw placement, their teeth can still be exposed to the sugars and carbonic acids with straw use while you think their teeth are a-ok. It’s a slippery slope.
Whether or not you encourage your child to use a straw or not, keeping teeth healthy depends largely on daily hygiene habits and your child’s daily diet. With that in mind, one of the best things you can do for your child is to strive for balance in their diet, reduce their daily sugar intake, and help them brush correctly daily.
Also, consider the risk factors that impact your child’s likelihood of developing decay. The CDC reports the following risk factors for tooth decay and disease:
These risk factors mean that you need to take extra care with your child’s oral health and care. Talk to Dr. Botero about the frequency of in-office exams and fluoride treatments for your child to keep them protected.
Parents, there are many resources available to help you educate yourself on oral care for your children from infancy through adolescence. Here are some links to check out to help you in your journey:
Our friendly team at Li’l Sunshine Smiles Dentistry is here for your every step of the way to help support you and your family in your oral wellness goals.
The New Year is a great time to have an exam and cleaning to get the year off to the right start. Involving Dr. Botero in your child’s care this year will help you in your goal for healthy teeth. Dr. Botero and her friendly staff at Li’l Sunshine Smiles are here to help guide you and your child to excellent oral wellness. A consultation with our team can help identify what your child needs to keep her oral health where it needs to be.
Call us today at 813-576-0200 to make an appointment and to learn more tips for healthy teeth this year.