Cavities, also called dental caries are the largest common chronic childhood disease. Recent findings now point to studies that have found cavities to be contagious as an infectious disease. Sound crazy? I have a question for all of you mothers out there. How many of you have cleaned off your child’s pacifier by putting it in your own mouth or how many times have you shared spoons with your family members? If you are prone to cavities, the cavity producing oral bacteria that give you cavities can be transmitted to your child when you share spoons or clean off pacifiers with your own saliva.
Cavities are not the only problem that stems from bad oral health habits.
According to Liliana Rozo, D.D.S., a professor at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, as the most common childhood disease cavities can have a detrimental effect on a child’s quality of life. Severe dental decay can be blamed for poor performance in school and success in life. When children suffer from excessive cavities or even one painful cavity, they can be distracted by the pain, experience embarrassment from the condition of their teeth and even have difficulty chewing and eating.
It’s important for people to understand that there is a connection between your oral health and general health. Good oral hygiene habits are very important, equally as important is understanding why to not share things that go in the mouth like silverware, toothbrushes or pacifiers. The mouth can house a multitude of possible microbial infections that can enter the bloodstream. Risk factors associated with poor oral health include systemic disease, heart disease and problematic side effects of diabetes. Next time you wonder if it’s a good idea to pop that pacifier in your mouth to clean it off when it hits the floor, remember you can be giving cavities to your child!