If your child is old enough for school, he or she may have already asked to have a sleepover. A slumber party is often lots of fun for kids. They stay up late, eat lots of junk food and giggle and play until the wee hours of the morning.
If your child has already experienced multiple cavities, you may be concerned that the slumber party will result in even more tooth decay. However, there are some things that you can do to help ensure that your child's teeth are not compromised during the sleepover. Here are a few of them:
Have your child brush and floss just before the party begins.
Just before the other kids arrive, have your child clean his or her mouth thoroughly. This can help ensure that the buildup of plaque is minimized prior to the introduction of additional food during the party. By giving your child's mouth a clean slate, you can help him or her avert too much oral damage.
Tooth decay is often the result of bacterial acid that is produced by oral microbes. The bacteria feed on particles of carbohydrates in your child's mouth and release acid during their digestion. Due to the corrosive nature of the acid, it dissolves the tooth enamel to incite dental decay.
Offer drinks that are low in sugar and acid.
Sugar is a great food source for oral bacteria. Additionally, the acids in food and drink can weaken the tooth enamel in a manner similar to bacterial acid.
Instead of sugary soft drinks or fruit juices, offer the kids personalized water bottles. You can even look for sugar-free drink enhancers to allow them to flavor their water as desired without any decay-causing sugar. Although you may not be able to verify the pH of the flavored water, if the kids prefer unflavored water, you are guaranteed that the beverage will help dilute unwanted acid in the mouth as it rinses is away particles of food.
Play games that can help protect the teeth.
Kids love to play games during slumber parties. By adding games that are healthy for the teeth, you can encourage good oral hygiene throughout the event. For instance, you could purchase plaque tablets, which color the teeth in the areas where plaque is located. The tablets could be used during a plaque destroying contest in which the kids chew the tablets and race to see which child can clear all of the plaque away fastest. Be sure to have awards on hand for the winners.
To learn more things that you could do during a slumber party to help your child protect his or her dental health, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist in your area (like those at A Wild Smile).