The New York Times reports that children’s chompers have become astonishingly bad lately due to a number of factors. One is the tendency of parents to put their offspring to bed with a bottle of juice, which leaves the sugars eroding teeth during sleep. Another is the preponderance of snacks the kids consume on a continuous basis. But one of the biggest reasons apparently may be the belief on the part of parents that bottled water is better for their kids than tap water.
Unfortunately, bottled water contains no fluoride, which has long been proved to protect children’s teeth. Tap water contains just the right amount, and it continuously bathes pediatric ivories in a protective ionic coating.
The Times‘ poster child for this phenomenon is Devon Koester, a Stanwood, Washington, native who recently underwent surgery for a root canal. He’s 2½ years old. At the time of his surgery, he had cavities in 11 of his 20 baby teeth. While the kid was under gas, the pediatric dentist, in addition to the root canal on a molar, extracted two incisors, did several fillings, and finished up with a couple of crowns.
Besides drinking bottled water and eating sugary snacks, another reason for the rise in dental caries is that wimpy parents don’t enforce tooth-brushing routines, according to the article.