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Fighting Childhood Dry Mouth

Young child smilingDealing with dry mouth can be frustrating and uncomfortable for your child, but it can also negatively impact his or her oral health. Dry mouth is caused by a number of things including autoimmune disorders, diabetes, mouth breathing, or as the side effect of some medications. Dry mouth doesn’t automatically mean there are dental problems, but it is something you should try to help your child avoid.

Damage Done by Dry Mouth

If left untreated, a lack of saliva in the mouth can increase the chances of tooth decay, dental cavities, and even gum disease. Saliva is an important part of washing away food debris and plaque and balancing the pH levels in the mouth. Without saliva, plaque will start to build upon the teeth, increasing the odds of dental disease.

Avoiding Dry Mouth

Below are a few ways for you to help your child avoid dry mouth:

  • Sugar-Free Gum – If your child is old enough for gum, chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate the production of saliva. This is due to the chewing motion of the teeth and jaws.
  • Sugar-Free Candies – Similar to the sugar-free gum, sucking on sugar-free candy can create more saliva in the mouth, washing away plaque and bacteria. Again, make sure your child is old enough for hard candies.
  • Cut Out Soda – Soda and other caffeinated beverages can contribute to dry mouth. Try to limit your child’s consumption of these drinks.
  • Increase Water – Lastly, drinking more water is the obvious way to help combat dry mouth. In fact, dry mouth can sometimes be a sign of dehydration, meaning that your child isn’t getting enough water anyway. Always make sure your kids are properly hydrated!

If you’re concerned that dry mouth may be causing dental problems for your child, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment at our office. For more information, please contact Piedmont Pediatric Dentistry located here in Greensboro, North Carolina. Our pediatric dental office wants to make sure that your children have a happy and cavity-free childhood!

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