When we discuss cavities with parents and children, one of the most common questions we receive is, “are cavities contagious?” If you have one cavity, you might be worried about how this could impact the rest of your teeth and your overall oral health. Let’s take a deeper look into this topic and discover our top tips for preventing cavities in the future.
Are cavities contagious?
You might be shocked to learn that, in some cases, cavities are contagious. While cavities are usually the result of sugar build-up that slowly decays the tooth, studies suggest that saliva from someone else could also cause a cavity.
However, keep in mind this is a very rare situation, and by practicing good oral hygiene, you are unlikely to experience this. We notice this is more of a concern with parents of teenagers, who might be at the age where they have their first boyfriend or girlfriend. As long as they are keeping up good brushing and flossing habits, you don’t need to worry too much about these cavity-causing germs. Make sure your partner or anyone you are getting close to also practices these good habits though, so that you don’t risk damaging your perfect teeth in the future.
5 Tips to Prevent Cavities
While you don’t need to worry too much about the discussion of contagious cavities, you should still do everything in your control to help prevent cavities. Adopting a good oral hygiene routine early on in life can save your children a lot of issues later on. We know this can be a challenge for parents to drum into their kids, but we promise they’ll thank you later when they have fewer fillings and dental appointments. These are a few of the top ways to prevent cavities from forming.
1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
The earlier you can get your kids into the habit of brushing their teeth twice a day, the better. We recommend using fluoride toothpaste, and our team will be happy to recommend the best product for your child. In the evening, make sure they are flossing as well to avoid plaque from building up between the teeth.
2. Book Regular Dentist Check-Ups
Most of us aren’t aware when there’s an issue with our teeth, and for that reason, you need to book a regular dentist check-up. Our team of professionals will look after your child and answer any questions or concerns they have about potential cavities. It’s better to spot potential issues early on so that we can suggest the best treatment options to prevent them from getting any worse.
3. Dental Sealants
If your child is beginning to show signs of potential cavities, we might put a sealant on their tooth. This is a plastic coating that we’ll apply to the back teeth on their chewing surface. It helps to seal off any grooves, which might collect food and create a build-up of plaque. While these may need to be replaced again in the future, it’s a good way to reduce the chance of fillings.
4. Think About Your Child’s Diet
One of the top reasons for cavities is the food and drink we ingest. Naturally, some foods are better for our teeth than others. The earlier you can encourage your child to reduce their intake of sugary foods and drinks or snacks that get stuck in the teeth, the more likely they’ll avoid cavities. When you eat something that has a tendency to get stuck in the teeth, it’s best to go and brush them straight away.
5. Drink Plenty of Water Each Day
Drinking water is the foundation of good health, and we highly encourage you to get your child into the habit of drinking water from a young age. If they start to enjoy water as a child, they’ll be far less likely to rely on soda, coffee, or tea as they grow older. While all drinks are okay in moderation, drinking sugary juices and sodas all day can wreak havoc on your teeth. Try to switch out other drinks for water as much as possible, and you’ll find the chance of cavities goes down quite significantly.
By following all of these top tips, you’ll help your child to avoid cavities for as long as possible. While you now know that cavities are contagious, you’ll also want to do your part to avoid this issue. We’ll be here to support you with good oral hygiene and answer any questions you have about avoiding cavities.
Keep Your Family’s Teeth Healthy with the Help of AC Pediatric Dentistry
Going to the dentist can be scary — we get it. But it should be fun! Whether it’s care for baby teeth, big kid teeth, oral surgery, or orthodontics, our team of specialized pediatric dentists make the experience memorable while teaching you how to encourage healthy habits and good hygiene for lifelong smiles. Call us today or request an appointment online. We can’t wait to meet you!