Establishing a Dental Home for My Kids

Aleli - posted on 08/05/2016 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I have 5 kids (4 rambunctious boys and 1 sweet girl). Having had the privilege to stay at home the last 16 years, I pursued every avenue of "perfect" parenting from blogging baby pictures, baking fundraiser cupcakes, coaching soccer to teaching preschool at home and so much more! Of course, as they say, hindsight is 20/20. Though I don't claim to have believed I actually came close to perfect supermom status--I do realize the many things that I had missed! Among the top things on that list is the matter regarding my kids dental hygiene.
Recently I took my 7 yr.old to get her filling at Children's Dentistry. My kids have been going there since they were 5 yrs. old. I've always loved the staff, the jungle themed office, and just how every thing is scaled down to kid size. But like the typical moms with an eternal "TO-DO list" I go in and go out, without a second thought about anything else. Aside from the temporary motivation to get better with helping them brush and floss more, I really move on too quickly. But what made this last visit unique and very special was:
1. I was offered a job
2. I learned a lot about teeth!
I learned that cavities are contagious, kids should be seen as early as 12 months, and that pediatric dentistry does not cost any more than a regular dentist! Not only is it my new job-- but as a mom I feel so inspired to share and educate about these topics that I will be blogging about it and doing interactive presentations to educate parents in my community.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/07/2016

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Cavities are NOT contagious. The bacteria you are referring to can be passed from one person to another certainly. Babies don't necessarily have this bacteria and yes they can get it from their parents, like when a binky drops on the floor and the parent "cleans" it by putting it in their mouth, then gives it to their child. Yay, not only does the baby get the dirt and bacteria from the floor, but also the parents mouth. Many parents are not taught how to clean their infants mouth, or any kids mouths until a tooth has erupted. Yes this bacteria can start causing decay before it erupts. Yes it is a problem. NO cavities are NOT contagious. YOUR dental hygiene dictates how your body handles the bacteria. It is a normal bacteria that lives in your mouth, oral hygiene practices, and depending on your diet it can flourish, or cause no harm.

Telling parents that cavities are contagious is very misleading. Parents, go ahead and kids your children, they need the affection, but parents brush your childrens teeth.

There have also been new studies showing that children and babies have bacteria living in their mouths that was NOT transferred from their parents. All this means is that the parents did not have the same bacteria in their own mouths as their babies. Bodies are very individual. But the take away from this conversation, cavities are NOT contagious.

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Aleli - posted on 08/05/2016

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I couldn't believe it either. But the cavity causing bacteria Streptococcus is contagious. You are definitely right about poor dental hygiene--because with inadequate brushing, flossing, and without regular dental visits the condition is further exacerbated and could potentially lead to tooth decay. We have so many cases of tooth decay in our office! It makes me sad.

Aleli - posted on 08/05/2016

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I know- I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. But indeed, cavities are contagious because of the bacteria Streptococcus that causes it. This bacteria is easily passed from parent to child through kissing and sharing utensils and any time saliva is transmitted. Unbelievable, I know. I don't advocate not kissing babies--I'm a mother of five and I can't stop loving my kiddos! But I believe educating ourselves so that we are aware of the possible effects is the first step which only leads to better dental hygiene habits. The best defense.

Aleli - posted on 08/05/2016

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Thank you!

You are definitely on top of it! It is recommended that children see a dentist every 6 months for routine cleaning and starting as early as 12 months of age or as soon as the first tooth arrives. I actually never knew you could take kids that early so I didn't take mine until they were about 5 years old (when i finally asked their pediatrician "should I be?").. Now I know that the benefits of establishing a dental home begins early, thus making the child more comfortable with every visit because they'll have "grown-up" with it.

Dove - posted on 08/05/2016

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Congratulatoins on the job!

All of my kids have been seeing the dentist every 6 months since 3 years old. My 14.5 year old twin daughters have never had a single cavity. My 8 year old son has had several starting from his first dental visit. Because he is more prone to them I've been more vigilant w/ his dental care than I ever was w/ his sisters... and he'll still get one on occasion and they still haven't yet. ;)

Michelle - posted on 08/05/2016

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I don't believe that cavities are contagious at all. It has to do with oral hygiene.
Well done on the new job though.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/05/2016

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Caries are contagious? So, are they telling you that if one of your children have caries, your other child can get cavities from a sibling??

I am glad you are interested in oral hygiene. It is very important, and very overlooked. What exactly will you be doing at your new job? Congratulations by the way.

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