Don't swish with water after brushing teeth

~ Don't swish with water after brushing teeth,
says new dental recommendations ~

Not just sugary snacks and drinks but even bottled water is said
to be affecting kids' teeth.
New research shows cavities in kids have gone up more than
15 percent. And now the American Academy of Pediatric
Dentistry, AAPD, said some of the habits people have had
for decades aren't the best ways to keep away tooth decay.

Dr. Michael Ignelzi is the spokesperson for the AAPD, and also a pediatric dentist and orthodontist with his own practice in Greensboro, NC.

He said the fluoride varnish treatments his hygienists apply to
their child patients are now necessary for dental health because
kids are not getting the fluoride that they used to.

The foods that kids eat plus the fact that they graze on snacks
and sodas throughout the day is a big reason, according
to Ignelzi.

Ignelzi said that even 100 percent juice is full of sugar, "so if
they're drinking a sippy cup all day long or all morning long or
all afternoon long, it's very harmful to their teeth because that
sugar containing solution sits on their teeth for hours at a time,
gets converted to acid and the acid rots the teeth."

Ignelzi suggests the sweet stuff be served at meal times only
since that's when saliva is flowing, which then neutralizes the
acid that causes cavities.

He does acknowledge that sugar-free gum helps keep saliva
flowing. So it's OK to chew, and even encouraged.

Other factors in rising tooth decay include the fact that many
parents are sticking to bottled water, which doesn't have the
fluoride that public water has. Ignelzi also said that some
parents think that fluoride is toxic, so they only use
fluoride-free toothpastes for their children under age 2.
He acknowledges their concern, but pushes fluoride.

"For the first 10 years of life your permanent teeth are
forming underneath your baby teeth. If you ingest too much
fluoride, it'll harm development of permanent teeth.
Fluoride is great at preventing cavities but only in the right
amount," said Ignelzi.

Ignelzi started his practice in Greensboro after a decade in
academia researching new science. He said he tried to find
and recommend the best practices for dental health.

That includes not swishing with water after brushing teeth,
as most people are used to, because the excess toothpaste
left in the mouth allows the fluoride to continue working for
hours, which helps reduce cavities for teeth brushers of
all ages.

He also suggests breaking another habit ingrained in most
parents which is avoiding fluoride toothpastes before kids
turn age 2.

As of February, Ignelzi said the new recommendation is to use fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first teeth come into a child's mouth. He said parents should use a grain of rice size amount
until a kid is age 3, and then increase it to a pea-sized amount
until kids are 6.

Some people may have concerns about whitening toothpastes. Ignelzi explains that as long as they have fluoride in them, the whitening agents aren't enough to ruin tooth enamel. He said if
adults are prone to get cavities, they should never stop their
fluoride treatments either.

Ignelzi said that parents or care givers should brush their kids'
teeth when they're young, and watch over their teeth brushing
until they're 8.
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