Many parents assume that their child's cavities are the result of eating the wrong foods or skipping steps during tooth brushing time. Although sugary candy and bad tooth brushing habits do play a part in the development of cavities, this is not the actual cause of cavities. Cavity prevention begins earlier than many parents realize and in surprising ways.
Cavities Come From Bacteria
Cavities are caused by a bacterial infection that lives in the mouth. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, babies aren't born with this bacteria in their bodies. Cavity-causing bacteria enters a baby's mouth after birth and begins the cavity-making process even before the teeth come in. As a result, children as young as two years old can get cavities in their mouths.
The Bacteria Comes from Parents
Parents and babies pass bacteria in a variety of ways. People in families share things--share everything. Food, drinks, silverware, straws--all of these items may be used by multiple people in one family without getting washed in between. In the absence of a sink, parents may wash pacifiers in their own spit. Parents also blow on their baby's food to cool it off when it's too warm. All of this sharing can result in the passing of cavity-causing bacteria from parents to children.
Prevention begins with awareness of the bacterial problem and a less casual attitude toward the sharing of germs. Parents need to use their own spoons. Parents should not sample their baby's food with used silverware, or drink straight from their baby's bottle. Parents should not wash silverware or pacifiers by putting these items in their own mouths.
Parents can also protect their baby by taking care of their own dental health. By making regular appointments for preventative dentistry, brushing their teeth twice each day and taking care of dental health problems as soon as they arise, parents can control the amount of bacteria in their own mouths and avoid infecting their children.
In addition, parents should start brushing their baby's teeth as soon as the teeth come in. This starts by simply rubbing newly erupted teeth on a daily or twice daily basis using clean gauze. When the baby has several teeth, parents can begin using a baby toothbrush with non-fluoridated baby toothpaste to wash the teeth in the morning and before bed.
By the time a baby is 1 year old, he or she should have had at least one trip to the dentist. To find out more about what can be done to prevent cavities in your baby's mouth, speak with your baby's dentist at the first appointment.
I was very unhappy with the way that my front teeth looked. They were crooked and stained with an ugly yellow tint. I asked my dentist if there was anything that could be done to improve them. After discussing the options with my dentist, I decided to have crowns put on my front teeth. The procedure was painless and I wish that I had done it sooner. My name is Constance Graham and I am writing this blog to inform others about cosmetic dentistry. If you don’t like the way your teeth look, speak to your dentist about improving your smile. There are various cosmetic procedures that you can have done such as veneers, crowns, teeth whitening, and dental implants. I hope you use the information in this blog to learn more about cosmetic dentistry and how it can help you.