With summer here, New Orleans Childrens Dental Center always has your child’s oral health in mind. During their summer break over the next couple of months, we know our patients are excited to ditch the school books and have fun in the sun. However, whether we are in the swimming in the pool or jumping on the trampoline, it is always beneficial to keep our teeth in mind. Especially if your child is on a summer sports team, a mouth guard is highly encouraged to reduce risk of trauma or injury to the oral cavity. We understand that your child is still growing and tooth development is changing, where a custom mouth guard would not be indicated. Inexpensive boil and bite guards can be purchased at your local sporting goods store to ensure safe habits to our permanent teeth. Mouth guards also decrease the risk of concussion, so invest in your child’s safety today!
In addition to protective mouth wear while playing sports, Dr. Kellie Axelrad and Dr. Claudia Cavallino would also like to make our patients aware of the high acidic content in sports drinks like Powerade or Gatorade. Tooth enamel begins to demineralize at a pH of 5.5 and for 30 minutes after just one sip. Both Gatorade and Powerade have a pH level BELOW 3.0. Even when purchasing Powerade Zero or Gatorade G2 with low to no sugar, the drinks often have added acid to add flavor. Instead of sports drinks throughout the game, a sports drink can be consumed after the game and then rinsed with water after. If electrolytes are a concern, water with electrolytes can be purchased without the added sugars decreasing performance on the field.
Because the kids are home or at camp, we often tend to allow them to snack more frequently during the summer. We want you to be aware of the sugar and acidic value of your favorite cool summer treats, like popsicles and snowballs. When on the go and snacking, xylitol mints or gums can be valuable in caries or cavity prevention. Xylitol is a sugar substitute beneficial for dental health by reducing cavities to assist in remineralization. Because cavity causing bacteria in the mouth are unable to digest xylitol, their growth is greatly impacted. Xylitol comes in a variety of forms and flavors and can be purchased online or in local health stores.
These summer tips will help for a great dental report card! And don’t forget to continue a healthy summer routine of brushing and flossing! Have a wonderful and safe summer!