Kids and Drinking Straws: Yes , No, Maybe

There are a lot of important decisions that you make about your child’s teeth. You can help them learn to brush properly, and use early office visits to establish a friendly dental routine. You help them eat a healthy diet, so teeth have nutrients to grow strong. Decisions about drinking straws are a small part of helping your child establish an overall healthy and happy smile routine. We share some thoughts from a dental point of view, about the yes, no and maybe of using a straw.

The Yes:

Two of the most important beverages for good tooth formation and overall oral health are milk products and plenty of water. Your child might not consider these the most exciting drinks and a silly or fun straw may make these “boring” beverages more exciting to your child. If a using a straw means your child drinks more milk or water, then it’s fine to keep straws handy!

The No:

If your child has a habit of chewing on straws, this could prove harmful to young teeth. Non-food items, whether they are fingernails, pencils, pacifiers, ice cubes or metal or plastic drinking straws can damage tooth enamel, change tooth alignment, and even chip or crack a tooth. There are restorative measures that can repair the damage, but prevention is an easier path to take.

The Maybe:

Drinking straws can help protect tooth enamel from contact with sugary drinks like sodas and fruit juices. A straw can help minimize tooth damage if soft drinks are an occasional treat as part of your child’s diet. If your child’s teeth are occasionally sensitive to cold drinks, a straw may help. If young teeth continue to be hypersensitive to cold, it’s a good a idea to talk that over with your dentist at your child’s next checkup.

Straws Can Be A Fun, and Tooth-Friendly Addition

If you have questions about whether using a straw is the right decision for your child, we can help.  Schedule a visit with your Dallas, TX children’s dentist, Dr. Marr at Pediatric Dental Care at Casa Linda by calling 214-321-4880. We proudly welcome patients from Dallas, TX, and all surrounding communities, including Casa Linda, Lakewood, Lake Highlands, Forest Hills, East Dallas, Mesquite, Garland, Richardson, and more.

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