Growing up as a child in these modern times is hard. Kids are learning to hold and use iphones by the time they're 2 and they are having apps designed specifically for them. Marketers and advertisers spend millions of dollars trying to sell products to young children and their parents. Don't you miss the days when kids could play outside until the street lights came on? Times are certainly changing and there are new challenges facing kids and parents everyday. Apparently one of those is how to protect their teeth.
As children grow, their teeth are one of the things that change noticeably overtime. They grow teeth and they lose them, they grow more teeth and they are constantly shifting. This is nothing new and every person goes through these dental development changes.
In more recent times, more and more pressure is placed on having the perfect smile with beautifully straight teeth. Parents are spending more money than ever on expensive orthodontic tools and procedures to ensure their child will have a straight pair of pearly whites.
Just as orthodontics are becoming more advanced and popular, so are they items and products that can wreck that beautiful, expensive smile. Kids face more of a challenge than ever before with the amount of time, energy, and money that is put into selling them sugary sweet products.
In the past, tooth decay was a problem reserved for later in life and was usually combated by pulling the teeth and replacing them with dentures. Dentists are now seeing tooth decay a lot early and in increasingly younger patients.
The most obvious and common reason kids are losing their teeth at a higher rate are soft drinks and junk food. There is more variety and quantity of these products out in the market than ever before and they're getting increasingly easier for kids to get their hands, and teeth, on them.
Even before they have a chance to reach for the junk food or drink soft drinks themselves, an alarmingly large number of toddlers are experiencing rotten baby teeth. That is, before their adult teeth have even formed, their baby teeth are becoming dark and brittle.
Scary enough, the main cause behind rotten baby teeth is sugary soda. This means more and more parents are giving their young toddlers soft drinks. Since their teeth are underdeveloped, they are even more susceptible to the terrible side effects that come from drinking too much soda.
What's worse, parents are even putting soda and sugary drinks into sippy cups to keep their kids happy and quiet. This creates a terrible cycle, because once children have the taste for sweet drinks, it will only increase over time, further leading to their premature tooth decay.
With the growing epidemic, scientists and dentists are starting to believe that it is not just soda alone that is contributing to the early onset tooth decay problem. New sweeteners and sugars are being added to household products that before weren't an issue.
Even fruit juice, which was once was considered a healthy alternative to soda, usually now contains an alarming amount of added sweeteners. Parents need to be more diligent than ever about what their kids are consuming at home and elsewhere.
It's not just sugary sweet drinks parents have to look out for. Junk food like potato chips can also greatly increase the speed with which children's teeth decay. Kids are starting to eat junk food at younger ages and form a dependence on the salty snack.
As if caring and providing for a child wasn't hard enough already, modern parents need to do more research than ever to make sure what they are giving their children is, in fact, healthy. Detrimental products like artificial sweeteners can hide in products under a variety of pseudo names.
While the growing epidemic of early onset tooth decay is on the rise, so is the disease of childhood diabetes and obesity. These side effects and diseases are hard to get rid of once they start and will affect these children for the rest of their lives.
The best and most effective way to avoid these issues in modern times are through early childhood education. In public grade school, kids should be learning as early as possible about good eating habits, dental hygiene, and proper self care.
Even before they start formal education, parents should be teaching healthy eating habits and about the importance of taking care of our bodies and teeth. Starting kids early with good habits will help them to make better, healthier choices later in life.