Your KC Family Dentist Celebrates Children’s Dental Health
We love raising awareness about the importance of oral health at any age! And in February, this KC Family Dentist gets to celebrate our children with National Children’s Dental Health Month. While February might seem full of school projects, cold weather, and Valentine’s plans, it’s important and exciting to celebrate good oral care for your children. With extra stress on our kiddos with COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to visit us every 6 months for dental check-ups and exams too.
Water: Nature’s Drink
While we may associate the month of February with chilly weather and Valentine’s Day, it’s also National Children’s Dental Health Month and our KC family dentist team is ready to celebrate! This year’s theme – Water: Nature’s Drink.
“National Children’s Dental Health Month is an annual celebration,” said Shamik Vakil, D.D.S., member of the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention. “This year’s theme of ‘Water: Nature’s Drink’ will undoubtedly resonate with my patients and their families. We know water can rejuvenate the body and stave off those sugary drinks and foods in our diet.
Leonardo da Vinci once said that ‘Water is the driving force of all nature.’ As dental professionals, we know that oral health is a driving force of overall health. I am convinced that our efforts to support water consumption will inevitably help prevent caries in our young patients and be supportive of their overall well-being.”
10 Benefits of Drinking Water: More Reasons Kids Need to Drink Water
Why is drinking water important? Here are 10 reasons for you and your kids to drink plenty of water every single day:
Benefit #1: Eliminate Dehydration
Water helps kids stay hydrated–which is important for their brains to work and for them to stay healthy! Dehydration means that your body doesn’t have enough water to function properly. Seventy-five percent of people (including children) are chronically dehydrated.
Even mild dehydration will:
- slow down your child’s metabolism as much as 3% and cause fatigue
- cause your child to feel grumpy or tired
- give your child headaches
The human body has no stored water to draw on during dehydration so it’s vitally important that your child drinks water throughout the day.
Suggestion: Dehydration can happen very quickly—keep water with you in the car for thirsty kids. If they play sports or are involved in strenuous extra-curricular activities, send them with plenty of water in their backpacks. If your children come home from school grumpy or tired—give them a glass of water.
Benefit #2: Help Kids Suffering from Asthma and Allergies
Your children need water for their cells to grow. As they grow, 75% of the cell volume must be filled with water. This is one reason why children develop asthma and allergies during the growth stage of their physical development–they don’t have enough water for their body systems to function. Some research indicates that asthma can be caused by chronic dehydration and by increasing water and adding a bit of salt to the tongue, asthma coughing disappears.
Kids are also susceptible to allergies if they increase their food intake but not their water intake.
Suggestion: If you have a child who suffers from asthma or allergies, water will help. Kids with allergies should drink a glass of water BEFORE eating food. And kids with asthma need to drink more water. They also need to stop drinking sodas containing caffeine and reduce their orange juice consumption which can trigger an allergic reaction in some children.
Benefit #3: Lessen Hunger Pains
It was discovered (in a University of Washington study) dieters who drink one glass of water before bed will shut down late-night hunger pains by almost 100%! Drinking water helps separate the feelings of thirst and hunger. Thirty-seven percent of Americans suffer from a very weak thirst mechanism. In fact, it is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. Many kids and parents who feel hungry are really in need of water.
Suggestion: Does your child get up at night complaining of hunger or thirst? If so, either give him/her a glass of water an hour before bedtime or even 30 minutes before bed. If they get up feeling hungry or thirsty—give them another glass of water. You’re probably thinking, “they are going to be up all night going to the bathroom.” Possibly, but if your child’s body is in need of water, the water they drink will be used to replenish their organs and cells.
Benefit #4: Reduce Fatigue and Helps Kids Learn
When your kids are thirsty, they get tired very easily. In fact, studies show that not replenishing the body with water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
Kids in school need water to help:
- Keep their brains alive and working
- Water gives a child electrical energy for brain functions, particularly thinking.
- It is needed for sustained focus energy
- Water can also help prevent attention deficit disorder in children (and adults). In fact, kids who drink plenty of water, their attention spans increase.
- Water integrates mind and body functions. It helps kids and teens with the desire to make goals and have a purpose. Hard to believe that water can do this–but research indicates it can and does!
Suggestion: Send bottled water with your children to school. Let their teachers know exactly why you are doing this. If they don’t understand, encourage them to read the research connecting water to learning.
Benefit #5: Ease Growing Pains & Back and Joint Pains
Back, joint and muscle pain are not relegated to the aging. It can also happen to your kids. Growing pains are common among children. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day can significantly ease back, joint and muscle pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
Suggestion: If your kids are experiencing growing pains, give them plenty of water throughout the day and a glass of water about one hour prior to them going to bed (so they can empty their bladder before they nod off). It should help.
Benefit #6: Help with Short-term Memory
Did you know that a mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory? It can also cause kids to have problems understanding basic math, and have difficulty focusing on a computer screen or printed page in a book. Drinking water every day can help prevent memory loss well into old age.
Suggestion: Before starting their homework, make certain your kids have had a big glass of water to drink. And as mentioned above, send them to school with a bottle of water. It’s necessary for their memories and learning.
Benefit #7: Decrease the Risk of Certain Cancers
Drinking water can help ward off certain cancers. For instance:
- Drinking 5 glasses of water daily help to decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%
- Drinking 5 glasses of water each day can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%
- When a person drinks at least 5 glasses of water a day, they are 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer
Water also helps to normalize the blood-manufacturing system in the bone marrow which helps prevent childhood leukemia and lymphoma.
Suggestion: Although some of these forms of cancer are not cancers common in children, it’s a good idea to get your kids in the habit of drinking plenty of water every day. It just may help prevent certain cancers when they are adults because water keeps the immune system working at peak performance and can fight infections and cancer cells where they are formed.
Benefit #8: Sip or Guzzle?
If your child sips water throughout the day, they will keep their systems hydrated and their abilities to learn and function will substantially increase. If they guzzle water (drinking it very rapidly) they will cleanse their systems. Both are helpful for their bodies and minds.
Suggestion: Either sipping or guzzling water is good for your child’s health.
Benefit #9: Drinking Juice, Milk or Soda Doesn’t Count Toward Water Intake
Many parents think that as long as their child is getting some form of liquid (milk, juice, soda) in their systems, they will be hydrated. This is partially correct. However, sodas and juices are loaded with sugar and sugar drains water from the colon and can cause constipation and/or diarrhea. Plus, the sodium in sodas increases dehydration. Kids don’t need excess salt or sugar in their diets. It impedes their ability to learn. They need water.
Suggestion: Make water your family’s #1 beverage choice. You’ll be glad you did. You will notice your children having sustained, focused energy; their brains will work better and more efficiently which all translates into a healthier more positive learning experience.
Benefit #10: Help Clear Teen Skin
When your kids get to be teens, they will be concerned about their skin. Having healthy, acne-free skin is important for teens and their self-esteem. There are many reasons for teen acne, but several things that can help is drinking plenty of water, giving up sodas and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are loaded with water and will help clean out the cells.
Drinking water every day will help improve your teen’s skin by:
- eliminating toxins from the body
- flushing out the system
- hydrating the skin
- making the skin smoother
- decreasing the effects of aging
These tips and additional information can be found in the article titled: 10 Amazing Benefits of Drinking Water and How it Makes Kids Smarter
Children’s Oral Health
While this year’s theme may focus around water, Children’s Dental Health Month is really about the importance of oral health in our children. At Thomas L. Anderson and Associates, a full-service KC family dentist practice, we’re dedicated to helping families understand the importance of good dental care at an early age. In fact, the American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends that parents find a dentist for their child as early as their first tooth loss or first birthday.
When you come and see us early on for family dentistry, we can assess your child’s gums and you can ask us any questions you’d like. It’s a great way to establish your child’s dental routine, monitor their oral health, and implement any preventative measures.
Download posters, worksheets, and more for National Children’s Dental Health Month from the American Dental Association HERE!
Related Article: Children’s Dental Health: Tips to Keep Teeth Strong and Healthy
Baby Teeth Protection
While we know about the importance of taking care of our adult teeth, tiny baby teeth and children’s teeth also need good oral care to prevent bacteria and decay. It’s important to implement brushing every day and help your child floss. In infants or baby teeth, it’s helpful to limit the amount of sugary liquids and remember our theme of water: nature’s drink! Instead of sending your child to bed with a bottle full of milk, formula, or juice, use water instead. It’s the safest option and this KC family dentist agrees that it doesn’t include any sugary risks.
Access Family Oral Health Resources.
A Few Tips from your KC Family Dentist:
- Clean your infant’s gums daily. You can do this with a damp washcloth and gently wipe over the gums after each feeding to clear away bacteria.
- Start a brushing routine with the appearance of their first tooth. Brush the tooth with small brush and tiny amount of toothpaste.
- Once your child’s teeth touch, you can begin flossing.
- Replace your child’s toothbrush every three to four months.
Your KC Family Dentist Wants You to have a Healthy Smile
Our goal is to help all of our patients have a confident smile that is healthy and beautiful. The offices of Thomas L. Anderson, DDS and Associates is a KC family dentist for all ages. Whether you and your family are looking for a new dentist for a dental exam, you’re interested in restoring or enhancing your smile, we look forward to meeting you and having you join our dental family.
Schedule your appointment to meet with any of our skilled dentists at one of our three conveniently located dental office locations within the Kansas City area, including Lee’s Summit / Independence, the Country Club Plaza and Downtown Kansas City. The gentle dentists and expert team at Thomas L. Anderson and Associates look forward to working with you to treat your dental emergency, achieve proper oral health and a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. If you have any questions about your dental insurance benefits, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to review your policy! Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment and become part of our dental family.