It may surprise you to learn that many people, and even children, are continually mildly dehydrated day to day. This can have serious oral health consequences.
Although we may not feel dehydrated all the time, the fact is that many of us are not consuming enough fluids to keep us properly hydrated. This can be true of children and adults alike, and can lead to some serious health issues.
One of the more surprising side effects of dehydration is the effect it can have on oral health.
Creating an Environment for Bacterial Growth
A dry mouth is the ideal environment for bacterial growth.This is because with a dry mouth, your child is not producing enough saliva to properly wash away food residue, sugars and bacteria.
And the bacteria in questions are not just those that cause halitosis (bad breath), but also the ones that damage the teeth and gums. This can of course lead to dental decay and cavities, as well as gingivitis and even gum disease (yes, even in children!).
Drink lots of water
Most people aren’t aware of how much water they should actually be drinking throughout the day. It’s more than you’d think!
Especially in these hot summer months, make sure your child regularly and consistently drinks water. Kids between 5 and 8 should drink about 5 glasses of water a day; those between 9 and 12 should drink about 7 glasses a day; and kids 13 and older should ideally be drinking 8 to 10 glasses a day.
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables have a higher concentration of water in them than other foods do. This means upping your child’s fruit and veggie consumption can help keep them hydrated. Some great fruits and vegetables for hydration include:
- Iceberg lettuce
- Green Peppers
- Star Fruit
- Baby carrots (they have more water than regular carrots!)