Moms always warn kids not to overeat sweets because it may lead to cavities. That’s true, but what most parents don’t know is that they themselves could also play a role in putting their children at risk. Apparently, you can pass tooth decay to your child.
The Contagious Cavities
Health experts in Herriman explain that tooth decay happens when the bacteria feed on the sugars left in the mouth, producing acid in the process. When food debris, acid, and saliva mix, it results in plaque. This is the sticky, clear film that forms in the teeth. It damages the enamel and causes cavities. Again, this results from bacteria feeding on food residue. Regardless of what a person eats, if there are no microorganisms present in the mouth, they won’t be susceptible to cavities.
One study says that most kids under the age of two exhibit cavity-causing bacteria called mutans streptococcus. Babies aren’t born with these germs. It’s believed that these are passed to them by parents. How? In a lot of ways, including sharing utensils when eating with the child, pre-chewing food for babies, or having the toddler use the parent’s toothbrush. If you’ve practiced some of these habits, it’s best to go to a kids’ dentist. Herriman health advocates can examine your child’s oral health.
What This Means to Parents
To prevent these contagious cavities, the obvious solution is to limit saliva-sharing activities with your child. More importantly, both parent and child should practice regular visits to the dentist. The problem is most adults tend to neglect such, while kids are afraid of it.
Understand that screening for tooth decays and dental cleanings every six months is a must. To address your child’s dental anxieties, you should be able to find a pediatric dentist who will be able to build rapport with your kid. Not all kids’ dentists have this skill, so ask around for recommendations.
Of course, it’s important to promote and practice good oral care habits at home. This includes brushing teeth regularly and flossing after meals.
As it turns out, it’s not just sweets you should keep an eye on when preventing kids’ cavities. You may be passing on tooth decays yourself to your child. Practice better dental hygiene to protect you and your family.