By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS, Winning With Smiles
We don't inherit “soft teeth” from our parents and babies don’t come with cavities.
Cavities are caused by a bacterial disease called “caries.” We catch this disease from our close family and friends. Like any other contagious disease, how we take care of ourselves determines how our body will handle the disease. How the family takes care of oral health will affect the cavity rate of the infant and toddler. Correct family oral care will limit the contagion of the disease. Correct oral care for the infant and toddler will limit the survival of the bacteria that cause cavities. Diet and beverage patterns for infants and toddlers will either limit or support the cavity causing bacteria. The disease, “caries,” establishes its lifetime pattern while the baby teeth are emerging from age 6 months to 30 months old.
Establishing a dental home with a dental office that offers well baby exams will give you the information you need to create a lifetime of dental health for your baby. Other advantages of establishing an early dental home with your family dentist or pediatric dentist are:
1) Money savings. Children who visit the dentist before their fast birthday have an average 40 % lower dental cost during their first 5 years. These savings will continue through life.
2) Enamel defects, if addressed early, can be remedied with simple techniques to prevent tooth deterioration.
3) Early dental cavities can be healed rather than filled if detected early enough and addressed at home with proper information and prevention. Infants don't come with cavities. Creating a no cavity environment for your baby can lead to a no cavity environment for a lifetime.
The first tooth deserves a dental home.