Let’s Talk Hydration
With Children’s Dentist Dr. CJ Wagner of Wagner Pediatric Dentistry in Whitefish Bay, WI
We know that staying hydrated is an important part of day to day health, but it can also have a big impact on your kids’ oral health. The amount of water your children are drinking can sometimes be difficult to determine; especially if they’re at school all day, or if they’re not old enough to communicate their thirst. In today’s post we’ll talk about why water is important for oral health, how to try and keep track of the amount of water your kids are drinking, and ways to encourage more water consumption.
Mouths are happiest when they are hydrated. Drinking water not only washes away harmful bacteria and pieces of food, but it also helps your body create saliva. Saliva is our body’s way of washing away all of the things that are harmful to our teeth and gums, and we need adequate water to make enough saliva! So not only does water lend a helping hand with doing saliva’s job, it gives your body a tool it needs to create it.
Keeping track of the amount of water your kiddo is drinking can be tricky, especially if they’re at school. We recommend having a designated water bottle for each of your kids that you fill before they go to school, and when they come home from school. Making them a part of picking out their reusable water bottle can be a fun way to involve them in the mission to drink more water. Choose one that is insulated, BPA free, and has a sturdy lid. Dr. Wagner likes the Camel Bak water bottle for his daily dose of hydration! He bought his at Fitzgerald’s Pharmacy.
A fun way to encourage kids to drink more water instead of sugary drinks is to add fruit! Adding fruit to your water is a great way to add flavor, without adding too much sugar. Take your family to the Whitefish Bay Farmers Market and let them choose their favorites! We recommend making a big batch of fruit flavored water, letting it sit for a bit (you can even mash the fruit a bit to get more flavor) and pouring the infused water (not the fruit) into your water bottles. Putting fruit directly into the water bottles can make it tricky to drink, as bits of fruit can block the openings we drink out of. Having a large glass drink dispenser on your counter can also be a pretty addition to your kitchen, and is a good visual reminder for everyone in the family to take sips more often.
Lastly, be sure to lead by example! Your kids will be much better water drinkers if they’re seeing it modeled by their parents. Put down the diet soda, and pick up your water bottle. Tell us, do you have a water bottle you love?