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Fact or Fiction – Soft Teeth

By Jill Feilmeier on June 27, 2013 in Dental Health

Dentist working with patient

Unlike red hair, we now know that the genetically blamed “soft teeth” are not a reality. Many people tend to blame their genes when presented with the bad news of a cavity, but science has taught us that cavities are infectious, not genetic.

In fact, cavities are nearly 100% preventable.

We have bacteria that live in our mouths. Mothers who carry these bacteria – especially those who have many cavities – can spread it to their children through their saliva.

You can cut down on the effects of the bacteria in your own mouth and your child's by limiting sugary and starchy snacks. Bacteria live on sugar, including sweet liquids, like baby formula, milk and juice. When the bacteria break down these sugars, they produce acids that attack tooth enamel and cause decay.

But cavities don't have to be a part of your family's life. To help prevent cavities take these important steps:

• Brush gently at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss.

• Visit a dentist regularly for exams and cleanings. Do the same for your children.

• Take your baby to the dentist before age one or within six months of their first tooth erupting.

• Limit sugary and starchy snacks – crackers, chips, candy and soda.

• Don't put your infant to bed with a bottle containing milk, juice, or other sweet liquids. This can cause severe tooth decay and can affect tiny teeth as soon as they appear.