Scottsbluff NE Dentist Warns Against Contagious Cavities

What would you think if you were told that you could protect your children from cavities by protecting them from—you?!? Though it may seem strange that a parent might be the cause of a child’s cavities, there is quite a bit of truth to the statement, and it’s worth discussing with your dentist in Scottsbluff.

By nature, children are not born with the specific strain of bacteria that are necessary for tooth decay. However, parents and caregivers with cavities can easily “share” the cavity-causing bacteria with their children through normally daily interactions. Once the bacteria have been transferred to a child’s mouth by way of a kiss, shared foods, or shared drinks, the risk for tooth decay increases quite dramatically.

A microscopic colony of bacteria can create acid byproducts that are toxic and harmful to the enamel. As the acids attack the teeth (especially after meals, snacks, and drinks), the enamel is weakened and eventually penetrated. This breakdown of the enamel is known as a cavity, and the condition is known as caries or tooth decay. The damage typically occurs between the teeth or deep within the crevices and grooves along the top of the teeth.

Once colonized, the bacteria can be controlled, but never eliminated. Parents should take steps to prevent the spread of bacteria to their children and reduce the child’s risk for decay.

Starting with routinely scheduled dental visits, you can consult your dentist in regard to your own risk for tooth decay in order to keep your oral health under control. It is also best to avoid sharing cups, straws, and eating utensils with your little one to reduce the possibility a bacterial transfer. Introducing your child to the dentist by the age of one is another smart way to stay ahead of potential cavities.

There is no closer bond than that of parents, children, and families. However, to keep that bond as healthy as possible, make a conscious effort to share everything except cavities! Call to schedule your next check-up in a Scottsbluff NE dental office today.