Have you Been Spreading Around Cavities?


Cavities are bacterial infections. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that they are contagious…sort of. No, if you kiss someone with a cavity, you won’t have an instant cavity yourself. However, the germs which cause tooth decay are spread from person to person, usually when you are very young. A mere 1% of the population is immune to Streptococcus mutans (the bacteria which cause cavities). If you are a parent who has ever shared a spoon or cup with your child, you could have inadvertently exposed them to the germs. Dr. Hofkes in Cerritos, CA wonders if changing certain parenting habits can lower tooth decay rates in the future, or if oral hygiene is still the only way to avoid cavities.

Missed School

Liliana Rozo, D.D.S., assistant professor at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, says that cavities have a detrimental impact on a young person’s ability to perform well in school. Toothaches from severe untreated cavities are a known cause of a lower quality of life for kids and many missed school days. Discomfort is one issue, but embarrassment over visually damaged/discolored teeth and obvious metal fillings compound the troubles of children with extensive decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that parents secure a dentist for their little ones as soon as their first tooth erupts.               

Good Habits

Biannual preventive dental visits help your kids develop an early familiarity with dental self-care practices. There’s no way of getting around the fact that the sights and sounds of a dental office can evoke disconcerting feelings in a child. However, if they’ve had pleasant experiences since they were a toddler, they will be used to it. These early appointments are important to look for developmental issues in emerging teeth and jaws as your child grows. You might think you are doing all the right things with feeding your child a nutritious diet. However, organic fruit chews and other snacks geared at toddlers are still full of sugar. Brushing your babies teeth twice a day is as important as asking them to do the same when they are adolescents and teenagers.

About Shawn Hofkes, DDS

As a trained professional in oral and maxillofacial surgery, Shawn Hofkes, DDS is certified to provide comfortable, safe dental surgery from our state-of-the-art dentist office in Cerritos, CA. Schedule an appointment for dry socket or tooth extraction treatment by calling: 562-584-4082 today!