What parent hasn’t experienced the sometimes daily headache of trying to persuade a child to brush their teeth?
It can be a battle. We’ve all watched toddlers suck toothpaste off the brush and we know that’s not really brushing; we’ve all hoped the brush, guided by a speedy, less than enthusiastic hand, might just reach a crevice or two; we’ve given up on the flossing and healthy gums lecture.
The good news is, help is at hand in the form of an oral probiotic that supplies good bacteria which make themselves at home in the crevices, pits and chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. It’s a similar concept to taking probiotics for a healthy gut but these good bacteria are mouth specific. They work by crowding out bad bacteria which can cause decay.
Taking an oral probiotic is simple and far easier than the brush challenge but you will still have to broker that part too. Youngsters should brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush and children’s toothpaste. Older children should be au fait with both brushing and flossing.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Dental Association list kids’ oral hygiene as a priority. Among their goals are, educating parents and kids about oral hygiene and addressing access to dental services.
You can do your bit at home by encouraging good tooth and gum care and by educating your kids about the foods that damage teeth in the first place. Sugar is number one, from the obvious lollies and soft drinks through to less obvious culprits such as fruit juices. High acid foods like fruits and processed foods, like sauces and snacks, with hidden sugars can also be a problem. Decay is caused when bacteria in the mouth comes into contact with sugar, turning it into lactic acid, which slowly breaks down the tooth’s surface.
Oragenics Kids Formula is recommended by American dental professionals, and interest is growing in New Zealand. The tablets are for kids aged from 3-10. They’re a great tasting natural cherry flavour and they don’t need to be refrigerated – the bathroom cabinet is fine. Just allow a tablet to dissolve in the mouth once a day after brushing. It’s a bit like sucking a mint. Oragenics Kids Formula does not contain artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours. Children 11+ can take Oragenics for adults.
Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist, see your health professional.
By Nicole Jellard
API Consumer Brands Naturopath
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