Soft Teeth Myth Dispelled

Posted on June 25, 2013 in General oral health

I'm sure you’ve heard of the “soft teeth” myth. People all around the world have blamed their cavities on a genetic disposition of weak teeth. The idea is that you can't control the number of cavities you have because your mom and dad and countless relatives have teeth prone to destruction.

This is a MYTH. Research has proven that tooth decay is an infectious disease and your family history will NOT lead you to get cavities. You can “catch” the bacteria that cause cavities just as easily as you can catch a cold.

In fact, cavities are nearly 100% preventable.

We all have bacteria that live in our mouths. Mothers who carry these bacteria – especially those who have many cavities – can spread it to their children through their saliva. This includes behaviors like sharing spoons, cleaning a pacifier with your mouth and allowing babies to put their fingers in your mouth.

You can cut down on the bacteria in yours and your child's mouths by limiting sugary and starchy snacks. Bacteria live on sugar, including sweet liquids, like baby formula, milk and juice. When the bacteria break down these sugars, they produce acids that attack tooth enamel and cause decay.

But cavities don't have to be a part of your family's life. To help prevent cavities, take these important steps:

o Brush gently at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss.
o Visit a dentist regularly for exams and cleanings. Do the same for your children.
o Limit sugary and starchy snacks – crackers, chips, candy and soda.
o Don't put your infants to bed with a bottle containing milk, juice, or other sweet liquids. This can cause severe tooth decay and can affect tiny teeth as soon as they appear.

You can break the cycle of tooth decay!