Many people, and even children, are in a mild but continuous state of dehydration day to day. This can have unexpected but significant oral health consequences.
Many of us are not consuming enough fluids to keep us properly hydrated throughout the day. This can be true of children and adults alike, and though the symptoms are not usually very strong, it can nonetheless lead to some serious health issues.
On of the side effects of dehydration is the negative impact it can have on oral health.
Creating An Ideal Environment for Bacterial Growth
When you're dehydrated, your mouth will become dry, meaning it won't produce enough saliva to sufficiently wash away all the sugars, food residue and bacteria present in the mouth.
The result of this can be halitosis (bad breath), and in more severe cases, damage to the teeth and gums, which can lead to dental decay, cavities, and gingivitis or gum disease (yes, even in children!).
Drink lots of water
Most parents are not really aware of how much water their children should actually be drinking. You actually need more than you’d think!
Your child should consistently and regularly drink water throughout the day. Kids between 5 and 8 should drink approximately 5 glasses of water a day; those between 9 and 12 should drink 7 glasses a day; and kids 13 and older and adults should ideally be drinking 8 to 10 glasses a day.
Fruits & Vegetables
Upping your child’s fruit and veggie consumption can help keep them hydrated, since fruits and vegetables have a very high concentration of water in them. And as we all know, fruits and veggies have all sorts of nutritional benefits too. Some fruits and vegetables that are especially good for hydration include:
- Green Peppers
- Star Fruit
- Iceberg lettuce
- Baby carrots (they have more water than regular carrots!)