Enamel is the visible and white part of the tooth. It is the strongest substance in the body. It also protects against cavities. However, despite the strength of tooth enamel, it can wear away or crack. Over 41% of children in the U.S. have some acid erosion. What can you do to protect your child’s teeth?

Choose soft bristles

Harder bristles are not better when it comes to caring for your child’s teeth and gums. Children often use more force than needed when brushing their teeth, which can hurt gum tissue and wear down the protective layer on their teeth. The best toothbrush choice is one that provides gentle cleaning.

Use children’s toothpaste

Look for ADA-approved toothpastes labelled for children. Whitening toothpastes often include abrasives. These are not good for young teeth.

Choose drinks that are better for tooth enamel

The National Institute of Health (NIH) says soft drinks are the most frequent source of acid that breaks down tooth enamel.  Other drinks like sports drinks or fruit juice can also damage the teeth. Water is the best choice for teeth because it is not acidic. Water also improves saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth.

Ensure a diet with good amounts of calcium

Calcium neutralizes harmful acids that can damage tooth enamel. About one-third of kids aged 4 to 8 aren’t getting enough calcium. Dairy such as cheese, milk, and yogurt are great sources of calcium that kids love.

Avoid starchy foods

Starchy foods turn into sugar quickly. The sugar produced by starchy foods feeds bacteria that can lead to enamel erosion and tooth decay.

Enamel erosion can cause teeth to look yellow or feel sensitive. Regular dental check-ups, smart food choices, and proper oral hygiene can help adults and children to prevent problems.