1. No bottles in cribs
Even though it can be very convenient for parents, never let your child go to bed with a bottle. When a child sleeps, saliva production slows. As the natural rinse for teeth, saliva helps protect against harmful bacteria. But if your child goes to sleep with a bottle, the sugar in milk or juice pools around the teeth. Without any rinse, the bacteria feed off the sugar and cause more tooth decay. Be sure your child’s teeth are brushed before going to bed and remember, no bottles in the crib.
2. Only water in sippy cups
Sippy cups are excellent when transitioning from bottles to open-mouthed glasses. However, because the cup can be carried around without spilling, children often sip from it throughout the whole day. This means sippy cups extend the exposure to sugary drinks, which can be very problematic. The prolonged exposure allows for the bacteria in their mouth to metabolize the sugar, which means they will produce acid as a byproduct. This, of course, causes more tooth decay. Instead of juice or milk, doctors suggest putting water in the sippy cup as your child uses it throughout the day. This will decrease sugar intake and help your child’s teeth be healthier.
3. Breathe through the nose
Breathing through the mouth can cause many problems. Besides dryness and skeletal deformities in the mouth, it can also create an atmosphere for bacteria to do its work against your child’s teeth. Normally when we breathe through the nose it filters the air, helping everything stay clean and healthy. Breathing through the mouth bypasses this filtration system. And this isn’t the only problem mouth breathing presents. Doctors say that if your mouth is dry, bacteria can take hold more easily and cause problems. Do your best to help your child breathe through his or her nose to ensure oral and bodily health.
4. Use xylitol products
Mouth breathing usually happens when you are congested. You can help alleviate congestion through saline nasal sprays that contain xylitol, such as Xlear Kid's Saline Nasal Spray with Xylitol. Xylitol has been shown to inhibit bacterial adhesion to cells. Instead they are washed out, helping relieve congestion and allowing your child to breathe freely through the nose. Xylitol is also helpful in reducing tooth decay. Oral health products like Spry Kid's Xylitol Tooth Gel that contain xylitol can be used against the bacteria in the mouth.