Monthly Archives: April 2012
Tooth decay in children is on the rise according to dentists. Tooth decay has become especially common among preschool aged children. Sugar, lack of brushing, and infrequent trips to the dentist might be the culprit in some cases of gum disease and cavities in children. However, many parents do not realize that their kisses could be hurting their child’s teeth.
Approximately 80 percent of adults have some form of gum disease, but since the early stages have no symptoms they may not realize it. Streptococcus mutans is the primary cause of gum disease and tooth decay. Streptococcus mutans is an organism that lives off a host, the host being the human teeth and gums. Sugars from food that remain in the mouth are converted to acid that can devastate tooth enamel.
According to a study done in 2008 on Pediatric Cosmeitc Dentistry, mothers are the primary starting place of mutans streptococci (MS) ending up in their children’s mouths. Kissing a child on the mouth can lead to the spread of MS just as a cold virus can be spread from mouth to mouth.
When baby teeth erupt they are vulnerable to bacteria. The bacteria can break through the enamel and once there it is hard to get rid of it. The transference of adult saliva to a child’s mouth can be disastrous in that bacteria can continue to grow and multiply leading to attacks future, permanent teeth.
Bacteria can be spread easily just as a virus is easily passed on from one person to another, but measures can be taken to prevent possible infectious saliva in a child’s mouth. First, parents who maintain good oral health practices are less likely to have infected mouths. Besides kissing, you should also avoid blowing on his food, “washing” a dropped pacifier by putting in it your mouth, sharing utensils, sharing straws, biting off of the same food, and wiping your child’s mouth with a cloth contaminated by adult saliva.
Using a clean cloth to wipe your child’s mouth, gums, and teeth on a regular basis can also help keep bacteria from staying in the mouth, hence keeping it from growing, thriving and wreaking havoc on your child’s teeth and gums.