Get the Scoop on Saliva and How it Improves Health from a Kids Dentist

January 25, 2018
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We recommend that you bring your child to our kid's dentist office twice a year for a thorough dental examination and checkup. The examination is important for maintaining a child's oral health. During that appointment, we are going to provide some information that can be useful in helping the child to maintain healthy teeth now and while growing up.

One of the things that we discuss, though few people consider it, is the importance of saliva production on oral health. Most people think of saliva as drool, rather than something that is important to overall health. This is a mistake. Saliva is something that the body needs to maintain a healthy environment.

Why is saliva so important?

There are several health benefits to saliva, including the following:

1. Saliva works to create and maintain a healthy pH balance in the mouth

A healthy pH level is important for preventing the erosion of dental enamel. Things that people eat and drink throughout the day can create an acidic environment in the mouth. This is dangerous for enamel because the acid can begin to erode it, permanently weakening the teeth. Since saliva works to maintain pH levels, it lowers the risk of erosion and loss of dental enamel.

2. Saliva contains important enzymes

Even though saliva mostly consists of water, it does contain important enzymes that work to break down food. Since food particles can easily stick between teeth when eating, these important enzymes work to reduce the likelihood of tooth decay. Without the enzymes in the saliva, a child or adult's risk of decay is much higher. Thus, people with dry mouth are at a greater risk for suffering from dental infections.

3. Saliva keeps the mouth moist and reduces bad breath

The reason most people wake up with bad breath is that the body produces very little to no saliva during sleep. If a person has a lack of saliva, they are likely to struggle with constant bad breath. If a child's breath regularly smells bad, even though they brush and floss, it could be an indication that they are not producing enough saliva. In other cases, the child may be suffering from a dental infection or tooth decay.

Things you can do to help

As a parent, it is possible to influence the level of saliva a child produces by making sure that they stay hydrated and are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will benefit their overall health conditions and their oral health.

Parents can also positively impact the oral health of their children by bringing them to our kid's dentist office twice per year. While here, we can conduct a dental examination and teeth cleaning to reduce the likelihood of a child developing dental decay or an infection.

Schedule an appointment today

If you have not scheduled a kids dentist appointment for your child yet this year, we encourage you to do so right away so that they can receive the many benefits of preventative dental care.