You may have read this widespread article when a mother took her baby to her first dental checkup and was surprised to find out her 24-month-old had two cavities. A possible reason? Mommy’s kisses!
Similar to a cold, decay is a bacterial infection that can be spread, and this bacteria can pass from parent to child through saliva. Babies are born without the bacteria that causes decay in their mouths and only parents that have active decay can spread the bacteria to a child. However, most parents don’t know this. In fact, only 32% of American caregivers realize they can pass dental disease to their baby, according to a Delta Dental Plans Association survey.
Aside from kisses, the second most common way to transmit bacteria is through sharing utensils while feeding. Blowing on food or to clean off a pacifier are other activities that can also increase this transmission of bacteria. Tooth decay cannot be solely blamed on a parent’s kisses or bite off a fork, but it is one of the multiple factors that can lead to cavities, infections and overall poor oral health for your child.
How can you decrease the likelihood that you’re to blame for your child’s cavity? Don’t brush off the importance of oral health! To ensure decay is not being passed to children, it is important that all parents make their pearly whites a priority.
- Dairy is low in sugar and contains protein and calcium which strengthen teeth
- Meat, poultry, fish, eggs are rich in phosphorus
- Fruits and veggies help balance sugar and clean your teeth
- Nuts are low in carbohydrates which produces acid, stimulates saliva production
Drink More Water
- Water creates saliva to help clear out food
- Washes teeth with calcium and other nutrients
- Dilutes acid that your mouth produces
- Strengthens teeth and decreasing tooth decay when flourinated
If you do drink sugary beverages, use a straw to keep the sugars and acids away from your teeth
Brush and Floss Daily
- Prevent acid build-up by brushing and flossing twice a day
- Brush for 2 minutes each time
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria that may cause bad breath
- Floss once a day to remove food particles between your teeth
See a Dentist
- Visit yours every six months
- A professional cleaning can help remove plaque and build-up that you can’t brush or floss away
- Maintenance and evaluations can prevent decay, infections, and diseases
- Your dentist can identify developing problems early to correct and easily cure
Since we’re sure you aren’t going to stop giving your little one’s kisses and stealing a bite or two from their fork, following these steps can help decrease the chance of bacterial transmission to them. To make sure your oral health is in good shape and to prevent any diseases or problems, schedule an appointment with Dr. Stante today!