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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

My intense love for candy, cakes, and everything in between started as a child. I simply couldn't go one day without something sweet to eat. But my love for all things sweet took a toll on my teeth. My dentist diagnosed me with seven cavities, each one a different size and depth. After sitting through four long dental appointments, I decided to make a change. I now monitor my diet and only eat things that benefit my oral health. I'm here to help you take better care of your teeth. My blog offers tips on how to improve your diet, maintain good oral hygiene, and many other topics. Hopefully, you can learn to overcome your bad habits just as I did. Good luck with your future dental health.


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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

Child Asthma - Preventing Oral Health Issues

by Eric Bailey

If you have a child with asthma, then your son or daughter may be susceptible to certain types of oral health problems. These issues can lead to cavities, gum disease, and general pain conditions. Also, when oral health problems develop early in life, then your child will be at risk of loosing the teeth or developing breaks and infections later in life. You can help to keep oral problems at bay by considering the suggestions outlined in this article.

Combat Dry Mouth Problems

People who have asthma often do not produce as much saliva as others. This is a side effect of medications called beta-2 agonists. These medicines are typically placed in inhalers and they are used when your child has an asthma attack. Beta-2 agonists relax the muscles that line the lung tissues so that oxygen can flow more freely through them. If your child does not use an inhaler, then the medication is probably located in pill or liquid prescriptions that are provided to your child.

When asthma medications affect the production of saliva, then there are not enough fluids within the mouth to rinse away carbohydrate and sugar laden food particles that allow bacteria in the mouth to thrive. This encourages bacterial growth and the formation of cavities. Also, the lack of saliva allows the pH of the mouth to change. Specifically, the mouth becomes more acidic and this allows minerals to be released from the teeth much more quickly.

Provide Water

One of the best ways to combat dry mouth issues and cavity concerns is to make sure that your child continually drinks water throughout the day. The water will control elevated pH levels and it will rinse both bacteria and food particles out of the mouth.  

Purchase a water bottle for your child that holds about one liter of water and fill up the bottle two or three times a day so the mouth is kept moist. Consider purchasing a stainless steel container. Polycarbonate bottles can leach BPA into the water your son or daughter drinks. Aluminum bottles may be a poor choice as well, because they can corrode and leach metals into the fluids.

Keep the Sinuses Clear

Many people who have asthma will breathe through the mouth so that a good deal of air can be brought into the lungs. This can worsen dry mouth issues for your child. You can prevent this by encouraging breathing through the nose. The build up of mucus may prevent nasal passages from pulling in oxygen, so make sure that mucus is thinned so it can properly drain instead of blocking the nose.

One of the easiest ways to keep your child's nasal mucus thin is to feed him or her foods with herbs and spices every day. Foods that contain peppermint, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, red pepper, sage, and anise are all good choices. Essential oils like lavender, tea tree oil, and rosemary placed underneath the nose can offer assistance as well.

Bring Inhalers to Dental Appointment

Asthma attacks can often be brought on by stress and anxiety, because these emotions cause muscles to tighten and airways within the lungs to constrict. This can cause chest tightness, shortness or breath, and a full blown asthma attack. If your child is afraid of the dentist, then one of these attacks may occur during a routine dental exam. If a rescue inhaler is not utilized, then the check up must be stopped.

Regular cleanings and check ups are necessary to reduce cavity and gingivitis concerns if your child has asthma, so make sure that inhalers are brought to every dental appointment.

Also, work with your child on deep breathing techniques to reduce stress and anxiety before the dental exam. These exercises will also help to bring more oxygen into the lungs.

If your child has asthma, then he or she may have some oral health problems. You can work with your child to prevent some of these concerns and the information above presents some good suggestions.