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Can Dental Cavities Be Spread from Person to Person?

Group of people with thumbs-upWhile most people’s knee-jerk response to this question would be “no, cavities are not contagious,” it may surprise to learn that they actually kind of are. Many parents are shocked to learn that, despite their child’s perfect oral hygiene habits, they have a dental cavity. This is because even the best dental care can still fail if your child is sharing the bacteria that can cause tooth decay and dental cavities.

Dental cavities are caused by a bacteria called mutans streptococcus. As this bacteria feeds on the leftover sugar left on the teeth, they create acid that eats away at and weakens the tooth enamel. If these bacteria build up, they form plaque, which will damage your tooth enamel even more.

Some people just have a higher number of mutans streptococcus bacteria in their mouths. In fact, around 80% of childhood dental cavities are found in only 25% of children.

How to Prevent Sharing Bacteri

  • Do not share utensils – It’s common for people to share bites of food from one another’s utensils, especially with young children in the house. This is an ideal way to transfer bacteria, so we recommend you do it as little as possible.
  • Do not share toothbrushes – This one may seem like a no-brainer, but children are notorious for brushing with whatever toothbrush is most readily available. Please make sure that every member of your family has his or her own toothbrush and knows not to share with anyone else.
  • Set a good example – Lastly, the best way to teach oral hygiene is by practicing it yourself. If you make sure to brush and floss daily and visit SpringRock Dental every six months for a dental cleaning and exam, your children will be more likely to pick up on these habits

Here at SpringRock Dental, we want to help your family prevent dental cavities and tooth decay. For more information, or to make an appointment for the whole family, please contact SpringRock Dental located here in Aurora, Colorado.

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