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ERIC Number: EJ787042
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0046-9157
Toddler Teath
Wiley, Kristina
Exceptional Parent, v38 n2 p14-15 Feb 2008
Tooth decay in children is on the rise in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay rose 4 percent in the two-to five-year-old age group in the last four years. These statistics are disturbing to dental professionals because of the ability to prevent approximately 85 percent of tooth decay. Early childhood decay (ECD) is a phenomenon that is seen in children under the age of five. ECD is caused by the continuous use of the bottle filled with anything but water past the age of 12 months. Milk, formula, juices, sodas, and breast milk in a youngster's bottle put a child at risk for ECD. Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, second only to water. Yet, in the United States, tea is consumed less than fruit drinks and sodas. Fruit drinks and sodas are loaded with sugar and provide little to no nutritional value. However, when so many families are leading hectic, activity-filled lifestyles, the "quick fix" beverage in a juice box, bottle, or can is much easier than stopping to brew a cup of tea. Camomile teas are about as close to a neutral pH as tea can get. Some studies have indicated they are less than 0.001 from neutral. This beverage would be the least likely to contribute to tooth decay in children. Rooibos teas, which are naturally caffeine free, have a pH around 5.0. Black and green teas are slightly more acidic with a pH ranging from 3.0-7.0. The latter three teas mentioned have a higher chance of causing tooth decay if based on pH alone. With the exception of herbal tisanes, all tea contains an ingredient that actually strengthens the enamel and makes the teeth more resistant to decay. That ingredient is naturally occurring fluoride, and all real teas have trace elements of this mineral. As teeth naturally repair themselves, the hydroxyapetite crystals that make up the teeth are reinforced with the fluoride ion from the tea, creating a stronger more resistant structure. Green, black, and rooibos teas are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a much better beverage choice for children. To avoid excess caffeine, rooibos and decaffeinated teas are recommended. Tea is a beverage that children should be encouraged to consume. The health benefits for body and teeth are numerous and make this beverage a much better choice than more sugary acidic beverages.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States