Smart Ways to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
The health of a child’s teeth begins with their parents’ oral hygiene habits, but Jenna Schulten, DMD and owner of Dupont Pediatric Dentistry, says many parents don’t understand the connection.
“A lot of people think they genetically have bad teeth, but that is not always the case. There are specific factors that cause decay. Some parents don’t realize they can pass bacteria to their child if they have poor oral hygiene. It has nothing to do with bad teeth. It is bad bacteria,” she says. Bacteria from the parent’s mouth can be passed to their child if they eat or drink after each other. If a parent has more than one child, she suggests they consistently clean toys and pacifiers to keep cavities at bay. “When kids share toys that have been placed in another sibling’s mouth, they can get the bacteria as well.”
Jenna says it is also common for some parents to believe they don’t need to be concerned about their child’s baby teeth if cavities develop. “We will find a cavity and the parent will say, ‘Oh well, they are just baby teeth and will fall out anyway.’ This is true, but the enamel is much thinner on baby teeth so it is easier to develop cavities. The younger the child is when they start getting cavities, the more important it is to fix them as soon as we can so that it doesn’t become a bigger problem.”