We love raising awareness about the importance of oral health at any age! And in February, we get to celebrate our children with National Children’s Dental Health Month. While February might seem full of school projects, cold weather, and Valentine’s plans, it’s important and exciting to celebrate good oral care for your children. With extra stress on our kiddos with COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to visit us every 6 months for dental check-ups and exams.
Water: Nature’s Drink
This year’s theme for National Children’s Dental Health Month is Water: Nature’s Drink. It’s all about removing sugary liquids and replacing them with the healthiest alternative – water! Why is drinking water important? Let’s take a deeper look into the benefits of drinking water, especially for our kiddos!
More Benefits of Drinking Water: 10 Reasons Kids Need to Drink Water
Why is drinking water important? Here are 10 reasons for you and your kids to drink plenty of water every single day:
Benefit #1: Water Eliminates Dehydration
Water helps kids stay hydrated–which is important for their brains to work and for them to stay healthy!
Dehydration means that your body doesn’t have enough water to function properly. Seventy-five percent of people (including children) are chronically dehydrated.
Even mild dehydration will:
- slow down your child’s metabolism as much as 3% and cause fatigue
- cause your child to feel grumpy or tired
- give your child headaches
The human body has no stored water to draw on during dehydration so it’s vitally important that your child drinks water throughout the day.
Dehydration can happen very quickly—keep water with you in the car for thirsty kids. If they play sports or are involved in strenuous extra-curricular activities, send them with plenty of water in their backpacks.
If your children come home from school grumpy or tired—give them a glass of water.
Benefit #2: Water Helps Kids Suffering from Asthma and Allergies
Your children need water for their cells to grow. As they grow, 75% of the cell volume must be filled with water. This is one reason why children develop asthma and allergies during the growth stage of their physical development–they don’t have enough water for their body systems to function. Some research indicates that asthma can be caused by chronic dehydration and by increasing water and adding a bit of salt to the tongue, asthma coughing disappears.
Kids are also susceptible to allergies if they increase their food intake but not their water intake.
If you have a child who suffers from asthma or allergies, water obviously will help. Kids with allergies should drink a glass of water BEFORE eating food. And kids with asthma need to drink more water. They also need to stop drinking sodas containing caffeine and reduce their orange juice consumption which can trigger an allergic reaction in some children.
Benefit #3: Water Lessens Hunger Pains
In a University of Washington study, it was discovered that dieters who drink one glass of water before bed will shut down late-night hunger pains by almost 100%! Drinking water helps separate the feelings of thirst and hunger. Thirty-seven percent of Americans suffer from a very weak thirst mechanism. In fact, it is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. Many kids and parents who feel hungry are really in need of water.
Does your child get up at night complaining of hunger or thirst? If so, either give him/her a glass of water an hour before bedtime or even 30 minutes before bed. If they get up feeling hungry or thirsty—give them another glass of water. You’re probably thinking, “they are going to be up all night going to the bathroom.” Possibly, but if your child’s body is in need of water, the water they drink will be used to replenish their organs and cells.
Benefit #4: Water Reduces Fatigue and Helps Kids Learn
When your kids are thirsty, they get tired very easily. In fact, studies show that not replenishing the body with water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
Kids in school need water to help:
- Keep their brains alive and working
- Water gives a child electrical energy for brain functions, particularly thinking.
- It is needed for sustained focus energy
- Water can also help prevent attention deficit disorder in children (and adults). In fact, kids who drink plenty of water, their attention spans increase.
- Water integrates mind and body functions. It helps kids and teens with the desire to make goals and have a purpose. Hard to believe that water can do this–but research indicates it can and does!
Send bottled water with your children to school. Let their teachers know exactly why you are doing this. If they don’t understand, encourage them to read the research connecting water to learning.
Benefit #5: Drink Water to Ease Growing Pains & Back and Joint Pains
Back, joint and muscle pain are not relegated to the aging. It can also happen to your kids. Growing pains are common among children. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day can significantly ease back, joint and muscle pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
If your kids are experiencing growing pains, give them plenty of water throughout the day and a glass of water about one hour prior to them going to bed (so they can empty their bladder before they nod off). It should help.
Benefit #6: Drinking Water Helps with Short-term Memory
Did you know that a mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory? It can also cause kids to have problems understanding basic math, and have difficulty focusing on a computer screen or printed page in a book. Drinking water every day can help prevent memory loss well into old age.
Before starting their homework, make certain your kids have had a big glass of water to drink. And as mentioned above, send them to school with a bottle of water. It’s necessary for their memories and learning.
Benefit #7: Water Decreases the Risk of Certain Cancers
Drinking water can help ward off certain cancers. For instance:
- Drinking 5 glasses of water daily help to decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%
- Drinking 5 glasses of water each day can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%
- When a person drinks at least 5 glasses of water a day, they are 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer
Water also helps to normalize the blood-manufacturing system in the bone marrow which helps prevent childhood leukemia and lymphoma.
Although some of these forms of cancer are not cancers common in children, it’s a good idea to get your kids in the habit of drinking plenty of water every day. It just may help prevent certain cancers when they are adults because water keeps the immune system working at peak performance and can fight infections and cancer cells where they are formed.
Benefit #8: Sip or Guzzle?
If your child sips water throughout the day, they will keep their systems hydrated and their abilities to learn and function will substantially increase. If they guzzle water (drinking it very rapidly) they will cleanse their systems. Both are helpful for their bodies and minds.
Either sipping or guzzling water is good for your child’s health.
Benefit #9: Drinking Soda, Juice or Milk Doesn’t Count Toward Water Intake
Many parents think that as long as their child is getting some form of liquid (milk, juice, soda) in their systems, they will be hydrated. This is partially correct. However, sodas and juices are loaded with sugar and sugar drains water from the colon and can cause constipation and/or diarrhea. Plus, the sodium in sodas increases dehydration. Kids don’t need excess salt or sugar in their diets. It impedes their ability to learn. They need water.
Make water your family’s #1 beverage choice. You’ll be glad you did. You will notice your children having sustained, focused energy; their brains will work better and more efficiently which all translates into a healthier more positive learning experience.
Benefit #10: Drinking Water Helps Clear Teen Skin
When your kids get to be teens, they will be concerned about their skin. Having healthy, acne-free skin is important for teens and their self-esteem. There are many reasons for teen acne, but several things that can help is drinking plenty of water, giving up sodas and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are loaded with water and will help clean out the cells.
Drinking water every day will help improve your teen’s skin by:
- eliminating toxins from the body
- flushing out the system
- hydrating the skin
- making the skin smoother
- decreasing the effects of aging
These tips and additional information can be found in the article titled: 10 Amazing Benefits of Drinking Water and How it Makes Kids Smarter
Children’s Oral Health
While this year’s theme may focus around water (and we hope we answered the question: Why is drinking water important?), Children’s Dental Health Month is really about the importance of oral health in our children. Regular, scheduled dental checkups every 6 months are a great way to stay on top of your child’s oral health. When you come and see us early on for family dentistry, we can assess your child’s gums and you can ask us any questions you’d like. It’s a great way to establish your child’s dental routine, monitor their oral health, and implement any preventative measures.
Stress can contribute to poor oral health choices, such as brushing and flossing less, or if we’re stressed, we may clench our jaw more or grind our teeth. If your child is suffering from any signs of oral stress, we can see them during our oral exam and can begin preventative measures, if needed.
Download posters, worksheets, and more for National Children’s Dental Health Month from the American Dental Association HERE!
Oral Care Begins Early On
Baby teeth and children’s teeth also need good oral care to prevent bacteria and decay. It’s important to implement brushing every day and help your child floss. In infants or baby teeth, it’s helpful to limit the amount of sugary liquids and remember our theme of water: nature’s drink! Instead of sending your child to bed with a bottle full of milk, formula, or juice, use water instead. For more information about Oral Bacteria, read our blog: Are Healthy Teeth Just About a Pretty Smile?
The American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends that parents find a dentist for their child as early as their first tooth loss or first birthday. When your child experiences their first tooth, you can begin brushing and when two teeth are touching, you can begin helping them to floss. Learn more tips and tricks to keep your kiddo’s teeth healthy HERE.
Learn more about National Children’s Dental Health Month HERE.
GPS Dental Wants Your Family to Have Healthy Smiles
As you know, it’s so important for children to start their lives with a solid foundation and that includes oral health habits. Not only does that include brushing and flossing daily, but also having healthy habits — including drinking water! Why is drinking water important for you and your family? I hope we answered that question in this blog. Dr. Skrobanek and his Team love to talk about dental health and look forward to answering any of your questions during your next dental appointment.
Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implants, sleep apnea, TMJ / TMD Treatment, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.