As a parent, you probably want your child to have the healthiest mouth possible, and one of your main concerns may be the development of cavities. There are many things that can cause a child to be more susceptible to cavities. Here are some of the lesser-known culprits of childhood tooth decay so that you can feel more prepared to protect your little one's oral health.
Like Mother, Like Daughter or Like Father, Like Son
It turns out that parents can transfer some of their bacteria to their children without even realizing it. Parents already have a number of oral bacteria in their mouth, and they can pass the infection on to their kids.
Consider the ways people spread the cold and flu germs. It is often through contact, such as touching, kissing or sharing food and drink. It works much the same way with oral bacteria. Parents who eat from the same spoon or drink from the same cup as their children could end up spreading their oral bacteria.
Parental Education Level and Socio-economic Status
Parents with a higher level of education are more likely to be well-versed in oral hygiene, which may mean that they pass on healthier habits to their kids. It is no secret nowadays that children who grow up in more privileged areas and families tend to have better health than disadvantaged kids. Therefore, it is important to remember that socioeconomic factors play a role in oral hygiene (and overall health in general).
In addition, many families who are in the lower-middle class to low-income class often experience hardships when it comes to providing for their children. This can lead to a diet that increases risk factors for developing tooth decay.
Foods such as candy, soda and chips are more easily accessible due to their lower costs. The consumption of greater quantities of junk food and sweets present more food to oral bacteria, which feed on simple carbohydrates. The acid produced by the oral bacteria as a byproduct of their digestive process dissolves tooth enamel to cause cavities.
That being said, it is crucial to remember that each individual is unique, and regardless of income level, parents can promote good oral hygiene in their home. Encouraging regular brushing and flossing is important to discourage tooth decay.
If you are concerned about preventing cavities in your child's mouth, schedule a consultation with a dental professional in your area, such as Discovery Dental, to learn more about children's oral health.