Did You Know That Cavities Can Spread in Your Family?
Children aren’t born with cavities. So… how do they get it?
Is it simply because they aren’t brushing their teeth enough, or is it triggered by something else?
Tooth decay is actually caused by a bacteria known as mutans streptococcus which primarily feeds on sugar and produces acid which depletes the calcium in teeth.
These bacteria are transmitted through the saliva. Several studies have shown that parents can pass on their infection to their child by sharing a spoon or a toothbrush repeatedly.
This means, if you have cavities, you could pass it to your little one too!
Once your child’s mouth gets infected, the bacteria will start eating away the tooth’s structure.
Over time, it creates plaque which contains enough acid to degrade the enamel coat of a tooth. When the tooth becomes too weak, it will erode and form into what we now know as a cavity.
If you have problems regarding your teeth, it’s never too late to get checked by the dentist, nor is it too early for your little one to get a check-up. (And just so you know, taking antibiotics isn’t enough to get rid of the cavity-causing bacteria.)
Which is why the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Association (AAPD) greatly stresses how important it is for parents to have their dental history ready as a way of taking precautions in case your kid may have a high risk of developing cavities.
Aside from getting a dental history, there are other ways you can do as a parent to keep your child’s smile shining bright:
Schedule them for a regular check-up with a dentist.
Get your child to see a dentist as soon as they turn 1-year-old as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Association (AAPD).
If you wait a bit longer, you could risk getting those pearly whites tarnished with cavities or alignment problems in the future!
Teach them the right way to perform dental care.
Encourage them to practice oral hygiene by making tooth brushing fun.
You can give them toothbrushes with cartoon designs to catch their attention!
Limit the amount of candy and other sugary treats they get.
These include drinks like breast milk and milk formula too!
The AAPD recommends weaning your child from using a feeding bottle before they turn 14 months old to discourag e tooth decay.
Care for your own teeth.
Antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth and help prevent your child from getting cavities.
Now is the right time to start caring about your dental health as a family. Alla Hart, DDS, PC is a Dental Care Services in Bayside, New York that offers not only Family Dentistry but also Cosmetic Dentistry! You can count on us to keep your teeth strong and sparkling.
Pass the knowledge you have learned in this article by sharing it with family and friends!