How your child’s saliva affects their oral health

Posted on March 24, 2021 | First Time

How your child’s saliva affects their oral health

Saliva, also known as spit, isn’t the nicest topic to chat about, but it is important. We know that brushing and flossing are at the top of the oral hygiene pyramid, but did you know that saliva also plays a big role in the overall health of your child’s teeth? It helps clean the mouth between meals and even helps stubborn, clingy food to loosen from the teeth. We’ll break this down a bit as well as offer some ways you can support healthy saliva production for your child’s oral health.

What exactly is saliva? 

We’ll just go there: saliva is the clear liquid in our mouths that is produced by the salivary glands. They’re found on the inside of each cheek, under the tongue, and under the jaw at the very front of the mouth. Get this- these glands secrete about two to four pints of spit each day! These glands are producing saliva 24 hours a day, and it’s mostly made up of water along with some natural chemicals found in your body.

And, what does it do?

Most importantly, saliva is what helps your child’s mouth stay clean and healthy. Since saliva contains enzymes, it also aids in the digestion process by breaking down food before it even has a chance to reach the stomach. Basically, saliva jump starts the process! We really should be grateful for saliva, because it’s what helps you taste food. Dry mouths don’t taste food in the same way a well-salivated mouth does. Also, imagine eating toast or something dry, without saliva, that wouldn’t be a very enjoyable snack.

Is there a way to make sure your child is producing the right amount of saliva?

The good news is, most children and adolescents naturally produce the right amount of saliva. However, it’s becoming more common for children to have dry mouth as a side effect of certain medications. There are also some medical conditions that can cause your child to have a dryer than average mouth. The best thing you can do, is make sure your child is taking in enough water. Staying hydrated, especially in warmer months, is the biggest key to producing a healthy amount of saliva.

As always, if you’re concerned about your child dealing with dry mouth or any other oral issue, set up an appointment with one of the dentists on our team.

What They Say

Read Reviews Write a Review

Schedule an appointment online!