From Parent to Child

Harmful bacteria from a parent’s mouth can be passed to a baby’s mouth, putting the child at increased risk for dental decay.  Most American caregivers don’t realize that they can pass dental disease to their babies.   Streptocccus mutans bacteria is transferred when items contaminated with saliva enter the child’s mouth.  This can occur through shared food or eating utensils or through cleaning a baby’s pacifier in one’s mouth.  Americans often share utensils with their children but this passing of bacteria can lead to dental decay.

Babies are born without any harmful bacteria in their mouths but once bacteria colonize in their mouth, the child may be prone to decay.  If the parent has a history of poor dental health, he/she is more likely to pass these harmful germs.  So practice good oral hygiene and keep your children’s teeth healthy!

Icon is a new treatment which removes dental white spots and incipient decay.  These white spots on the teeth are an early sign of demineralization and they may lead to decay.  White spots on the surface of the teeth may be linked to orthodontic bands and brackets, heavy plaque, a high sugar or acidic diet, trauma or heredity.

For the past century dentists have removed decay by cutting away the decayed areas of a tooth.   But today’s new technologies allow us to remove less tooth structure, emphasizing what we call “minimally invasive dentistry.”  Icon is a product that treats small lesions micro-invasively so the dentist does not have to cut the tooth.  Icon is appropriate to treat smooth surface lesions limited to the enamel.

I have successfully used the Icon treatment to remove white spots often visible after orthodontic treatment.  The Icon treatment takes just one visit; it is painless, it doesn’t involve cutting the tooth, and no anesthesia is needed.  Call our East Setauket dental office and I’ll let you know if Icon is appropriate for your needs.

Children who consume a syrup with the naturally occurring sweetener xylitol develop fewer cavities than children who don’t consume xylitol. A recent study at the U. of Washington School of Dentistry concluded that exposure to 8 grams of xylitol per day in a twice-daily topical oral syrup prevents up to 70% of decayed primary teeth. The study was conducted in the Republic of the Marshall Islands where childhood decay is a serious public health concern. More research is needed, but it appears that xylitol is a cost-effective preventive measure for populations with high rates of tooth decay.
For more information on children’s dentistry visit http://drterryshapiro.com/childrens-dentistry-page/.

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