There are many ways you can take an active role to ensure the oral health of your children. But our bodies are incredible, and one of the best ways to keep your mouth healthy is completely out of your control! This powerful tool is saliva. In most cases, you have no control over your saliva production and yet it takes care of your oral health in multiple ways. Learn more about the benefits of saliva and how you can make sure your child is producing enough.
What is Saliva?
Saliva is a clear liquid made up of water and natural chemicals in your body. Saliva is produced by the salivary glands in your mouth. They are located on the inside of your cheeks, under your tongue, and under your jaw at the front of your mouth. Your body works 24 hours a day to produce saliva and ends up producing two to four pints of saliva daily!
What Does Saliva Do for Me?
Saliva has an incredible purpose when it comes to keeping our mouth healthy. It helps you clean your teeth between meals by rinsing away food particles. It also contains enzymes that begin breaking down food before it reaches your stomach, thus helping with digestion. Saliva coats your tongue and allows you to actually taste your food. In fact, it would be difficult to eat without saliva. Saliva makes dry food wet in your mouth which helps you chew and swallow. Your saliva contains enzymes that not only break down your food but help reduce bacteria in your mouth. And last but not least, your saliva is filled with proteins that protect tooth enamel and reduce bad breath. It’s safe to say that saliva plays a crucial role in your overall oral health!
Is My Child Producing Enough Saliva?
The body naturally produces enough saliva, so on a regular basis, you should have nothing to worry about. However, there are some medications or medical conditions with side effects of dry mouth. Talk to your pediatrician if your child expresses concerns about having a dry mouth. Board certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Nanna Ariaban says, “Hydration can also affect saliva production, as (saliva) is mostly made of water. Make sure your child is drinking enough water, especially during the summer and during exercise!”
Anderson and Atkins, DDS is a Family Dentistry serving children and adults in the Bryan-College Station area. Our team is skilled at pediatric dentistry and able to help you teach your children good dental habits. One of our patients, Cheryl, says, “My family never dreads our visits to the dentist because everyone at this office is so amazing! They are so kind and helpful! I especially love how they make our children (ages 7 & 4) feel so comfortable, so they have never had to fear the dentist!” If you have questions about your child’s oral health or need to schedule a routine cleaning, call our office today at (979)846-1813, or email us for more information.