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Saliva and Your Child’s Oral Health

April 23, 2020

Your child’s oral health is very important. There’s a lot going on in their little mouths that need to be taken care of from the time they are born. Did you know that the saliva in your child’s mouth provides them with a “natural bath” until it’s time to brush their teeth? It’s true. Think of it as a gift from nature in taking care of your teeth, because it’s the same for adults too. Let’s look at some ways to keep this saliva secretion healthy!

How Saliva Improves a Child’s Oral Health

Saliva is the clear liquid that a mouth produces from salivary glands. These are located all around the mouth and work constantly to produce a healthy amount of saliva or “spit,” as it’s sometimes called. Made up mostly of water, overall each day your body can make around two pints of the secretion. It’s a little icky to think of, but that massive amount of saliva is working hard to make your mouth the healthiest it can be.

Even though it is mainly water, saliva also contains electrolytes and has other antibacterial properties that aid in keeping your mouth healthy. This is important for your child’s overall wellness.

Saliva Helps to Break Down Food Particles

One of the biggest jobs of saliva is to break down food particles. It would be very difficult to eat just about anything without saliva helping out the process. Along with your child’s teeth and tongue, saliva gets the food nice and moist to make sure it goes down their throat with ease.

After your child eats, it’s natural that some of the food particles will remain in their teeth. The saliva gradually washes away and breaks down those food particles, so they don’t stay embedded between the teeth and in the gums before they floss or brush.

Saliva also reduces the harmful bacteria that may remain in the mouth. That’s due to the enzymes in the saliva that can help reduce the amount of times your child may become ill. So when you think of it, saliva is really a superhero solution in your child’s mouth.

A Pediatric Dentist Loves What Saliva Does

Proper saliva production can keep teeth and gums healthy. It protects the teeth by acting as a natural cleaning agent to bathe the teeth between brushing sessions, morning and night. Pediatric dentists just love what saliva can do for your child’s teeth because it helps prevent problems, like cavities, from forming over the long run. Saliva truly does a wonder of good for your mouth.

Keep in mind that it’s still absolutely vital to encourage and make sure that your child brushes their teeth twice a day. More than likely, you will have to supervise your child and assist in proper brushing until they are around the age of eight. Make sure they brush their teeth for a least two minutes per session. Make it a fun activity for your child if it’s something they don’t like to do very much. Play or sing a fun song for them, let them pick out a toothbrush with colors or characters they like, and tell them how proud you are after they do a great job at cleaning their teeth.

Ways to Improve Saliva Production in Your Child

Your pediatric dentist will be able to tell if your child’s mouth is producing enough saliva by doing a regular exam. Some tips to make sure that your child’s mouth is properly hydrated is by making sure they get enough water each day. It can also help to let your older children chew sugar-free gum or have a mint after a meal to enhance the activity of their saliva.

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, it’s important to find the right pediatric dentist for your family. At Maggie Davis & Associates, one of our goals is to help your kids “grow up smiling” by helping them develop a healthy, beautiful cavity-free smile.  Contact us today to make an appointment for your child’s next visit!

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