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Just because baby teeth are tiny, doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. In fact, oral health is closely linked to overall health, which means that dental hygiene serves a far bigger purpose than just giving you a perfect smile. Because of its significance, our team of family physicians now include dental risk assessments as part of well child visits since we’re participating in the Smiles for Life program.
Let’s Talk About Cavities
Believe it or not, cavities is the most common childhood disease and has many negative consequences. What exactly causes cavities? It basically all comes down to the relationship between sugar and bacteria. You might be surprised (or maybe shocked is a better word) to learn that over 700 strains of bacteria have been detected in the human mouth. Most people, however, host 34-72 different types and not all of them are bad. However, some bacteria feeds on the sugar in our diet. The bacteria then releases an acid that breaks down our enamel, and so begins the start of a cavity. What might surprise you is that you can actually pass this bacteria to infants and children by kissing them and sharing your food/drink, so your dental hygiene is just as important as theirs.
Some of the consequences of cavities include:
How can you reduce bacteria and cavities in your mouth and your children’s?
Keeping the bacteria in your mouth under control is really a fairly simple process and comes down to habit. It’s important to start these habits early, so the tips below should apply to both you and your child. Some basic things that you can do on a daily basis include:
Here’s what you can expect at your child’s next well child visit when it comes to our infant oral health program:
We will do a quick oral exam and assess your child’s risk factors. The list below places your child at an increased risk for dental caries:
Please keep in mind that although we can help with basic dental screenings, we are not dentists. It’s important that you have a dentist who can perform more thorough exams on a regular basis. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child’s first dental visit is by 1 year of age. If you don’t have a dentist, please ask us about local dental options.