Babies + Bacteria: parents set your kids up for a lifetime of healthy teeth
Parents play a vital role in helping their kids every day to brush and take care of their teeth. But it’s little known, that parents can make a huge impact on children’s teeth by taking better care of their own teeth!
While parents tend to focus heavily on a healthy diet care for children’s teeth, there’s another aspect to consider for effective dental health: bacteria!
There are billions of different types of bacteria that live in our mouths. Some bacteria are bad, while some bacterial types are very good at protecting our teeth.
If you think of your mouth like a little eco-system, a huge part of having healthy teeth is to have the balance of good bacteria outnumber the bad bacteria. This is what your everyday brushing and flossing routine helps with maintaining!
When you get an overgrowth of bad bacteria, you have a much more increased risk of teeth problems such as cavities.
Healthy teeth starts with babies
When a baby is born, they have no teeth. Without any teeth, there are very little bacteria in the mouth.
As baby teeth start to grow out, bacteria naturally start to inhabit and colonise the mouth. The bacteria that finds its way to the baby’s teeth come directly from the parents. This happens via everyday contact such as kissing, hugging and sharing cutlery, and constantly being in close proximity to each other. Through normal family life, the parents transfer the bacteria they have in their mouth to their children.
When the parents have healthy teeth, that means that they have a great mouth eco-system that is composed of lots of good bacteria and very few bad bacteria. Therefore, the baby inherits the same “blueprint” of lots of great bacteria and very few nasties.
Adversely, when parents are experiencing teeth problems such as gum disease, the types of bad bacteria that cause those diseases and infections are present and gets passed onto the baby.
When should your child start caring for their teeth? We explain it for parents in our previous post “Caring for Children’s Teeth – Part 4: When Should Your Child Visit the Dentist?”
Why is bacteria important to teeth?
People with a great ecosystem of bacterias tend to have very few teeth problems. Have you ever encountered people who seem to eat endless sugar and yet still have no cavities? This is thanks to the good bacteria that their parents have passed to them.
Those babies who inherit low compositions of bad bacteria, literally don’t have the nasties in their mouths that can cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Therefore, no matter how little they brush or how bad their diet is, it’s very hard for them to get teeth problems.
How can parents help?
Often, we meet adults who focus on their children’s dental health and forget to look after their own! But taking care of your own teeth will make a big difference in your family’s overall dental health.
To ensure your child has the best future for their pearly whites, it’s best if parents get their teeth in healthy shape as early as possible.
It’s never too late to get your chompers in tip-top condition, and it’s often much easier than you think.
Some adults think that it’s too late to change their “teeth genetics” because they’ve grown up with bad teeth inherited from their parents.
Nobody’s ever condemned to a lifetime of terrible teeth. By staying on top of your dentist visits, teeth cleans and daily brushing, you can throw your bacteria blueprint back onto the good side.
For parents, by looking after your own teeth you’re actually giving you and your child the best opportunity for a lifetime of happy and healthy smiles. So book your dentist appointment online today, for you and the whole family.