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Combating Childhood Dry Mouth

Young girl doing outdoor activityDry mouth is not only uncomfortable and frustrating but can also be detrimental to your child’s oral health. It can be caused by a number of factors including diabetes, autoimmune disorders, mouth-breathing, or as the side effect of certain medications. While dry mouth isn’t something that should immediately send you into a panic about your child’s oral health, it is something that you should try to avoid if possible.

Childhood Dry Mouth Damage

If left untreated for long enough, a lack of saliva in your child’s mouth can increase the likelihood of dental cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. This is because saliva is an important part of keeping the pH levels in the mouth balanced as well as helping to wash away food debris and plaque. Without enough saliva, the plaque and tartar in your child’s mouth will be allowed to accumulate on the teeth, increasing the odds of tooth decay, gum disease, and dental cavities.

Combating Dry Mouth

Below are a few things you can do to help increase saliva production and keep dry mouth at bay for the whole family:

  • Cut out caffeine – Caffeinated beverages can contribute to dry mouth, so cutting these drinks out of your family’s diet should help ease dry mouth symptoms in children and adults.
  • Chew gum – Chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva production in the mouth. This is because of the chewing motion of the jaw and teeth. As long as the gum is sugar-free, it won’t cause damage to the tooth enamel.
  • Sugar-free candies – Similar to sugar-free gum, sucking on sugar-free candies can also create more moisture and saliva in the mouth, helping to wash away bacteria and plaque. If your child is old enough to have candy without choking, make sure that it is sugar-free.
  • Increase water consumption – This one may seem obvious but drinking more water can help combat dry mouth. This is because dry mouth can sometimes be a symptom of dehydration, so make sure you’re offering your children plenty of fluids.

If you’re concerned that dry mouth may be a problem for your child, please contact Great Outdoor Pediatric Dentistry here in Dover, New Hampshire.  

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