Saliva is the most important ingredient in the digestive system. Many parents underestimate the the importance of saliva, but it is vital to many of your child’s bodily functions.
Saliva serves a number of purposes including:
- Acting as a natural mouth disinfectant
- Helping to keep gums healthy by keeping them hydrated
- Preventing tooth decay
- Washing away food particles
- Carrying natural disease-fighting chemicals to prevent infections and cavities
- Fighting germs in your mouth and preventing bad breath
Healthy saliva is essential to your child’s oral and overall health. Without a healthy amount of saliva, your child is at risk of a number of health concerns, some of which can cause long term damage, such as tooth decay. Daily functions such as swallowing and even tasting food, would also become difficult.
Our salivary glands are located on the inside of each cheek, at the bottom of the mouth and behind our upper row of teeth, towards the back of the mouth. Throughout the day, our salivary glands secrete saliva into our mouths. It is mostly made of water, but it also contains chemicals that help your child digest food and keep their teeth healthy. The average healthy child over the age of eight should produce one to two litres of saliva a day. Children under the age of eight may produce more saliva, and because their muscles are not fully developed, they also have less control over swallowing.
If your child breathes through their mouth, they may experience dry mouth. Encourage them to inhale and exhale through the nose to keep their mouth hydrates and healthy. Dry mouth is also often a reaction to medication your child may be taking. Medications used to treat allergies, pain, diarrhea, and some others can cause the body to slow saliva production. It’s best to speak to your family doctor to get an individual diagnosis.
If you are concerned about your child’s overall oral health, don’t hesitate to give us a call and arrange a free consultation. You can contact us at our Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642) location. We would love to hear from you!