Make Sure Your Kids Drink Plenty of Water

The summer days may be winding down, now, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still important reasons to make sure your kids continue to drink plenty of water each day. While the scorching heat may be a palpable reminder that your family needs to hydrate, regularly, your bodies still need adequate hydration to function at their best each and everyday. So take this opportunity to learn a bit more about why water is essential to your kids’ oral health, and what you can do to ensure they’re actually staying well hydrated each day.

Water Is Essential to One’s Whole Body, Including His or Her Oral Health

You probably already know that your entire body, including your vital organs, rely on water to function properly. Yet, many parents don’t realize just how important water is to maintaining oral health, as well. That is because water helps to prevent cavities and other oral health issues, by gently rinsing food particles and bacteria from the surface of teeth between brushings, and also producing saliva, which naturally protects teeth.

Drinking water also helps prevent over indulgence in sugary beverages, like sodas and juices, which can be particularly troublesome for teeth, as they contain sugar and acidity, both of which can wear away the teeth’s enamel. Keep in mind even seemingly healthy options can often be laden with sugar, so read the labels on beverages like supplemental shakes, flavored milks and smoothies. Try to stick to low-sugar options, which are healthier for young (and older) smiles!

Be Careful Not to Provide Too Many Sugary Beverages

If you are concerned that your kids aren’t drinking enough water, consider these simple steps for making water drinking more fun, even for picky kids of all ages!

  • Just like letting your children pick their own toothbrushes can help make them more excited about their dental hygiene, and visiting an experienced pediatric dentist can help them form positive thoughts about dentistry, letting your kids choose a special cup to drink water from, can help make it a more enjoyable habit. Just make it clear from the start, that this special cup is only for water, and keep it within reach as much as possible, so your child develops the habit of reaching for water when he or she is thirsty, instead of always hitting the fridge in search of soda, milk or juice.
  • Silly straws can also make drinking water more fun! Again, just save this “treat” for when your child is ready to drink water. If you use the straws for other drinks, as well, water may begin to lose its appeal.
  • While it’s not wise to let your children chew on ice, ice in their cups can make them more excited about drinking refreshingly cold water. There are numerous ice trays now available in fun shapes and even recognizable cartoon figures. Use these to make glasses of water something extra special!
  • Finally, keep in mind that it’s important to be a good role model. So be sure you’re filling your own cup with plenty of water throughout each day. This is a great example to show your kids; plus it’s good for your own smile and overall health as well!
filed under: General Dentistry, Preventive Treatments