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Dental hygiene is often overlooked when it comes to our newborn babies. After all, a new parent has so  much to deal with so it is quite understandable for dental hygiene to take a back seat. However, recent research has uncovered a possible link between a mother’s oral health and their child’s. This is likely due to shared lifestyle components between mother and child. They share similar genetic backgrounds, shared environments, and shared knowledge/attitude towards dental hygiene. Mothers can also share their oral bacteria with their children. Previous research has shown mothers with high salivary levels of mutans strptococci (MS) are more likely to have children with high levels of MS in their oral bacteria profile. The reverse is children with high levels of tooth decay are more likely to have mothers with high levels of MS.

Oral Health Research

The research was completed at several universities in California with 200+ pregnant women entering their 2nd trimester. The saliva was tested at various points during pregnancy and at 4, 9, 12, 24, and 36 months following birth. All were also given dental examinations throughout the research. All of the mothers included in the study had experience tooth decay prior to the study.  At the 36 month mark, more than 1/3 of all children had dental decay. The study concluded that mothers with high levels of MS were more likely to have children with high levels of MS. On the other hand mothers with lowered levels of MS were more likely to have caries free children.

Dental Health Tips For Moms

Drink Lots Of Water. Drinking water is not only good for our bodies but also for our teeth. We tend to snack more when we are going from different events with little to no time to worry about our dental health. Drinking water will keep you and your kids hydrated but it will also reduce the effects of frequent snacking on your teeth. Rinsing with water following snacking will help reduce the food trapped between our teeth as well as reduce the acidic levels which lead to tooth decay. Flavored waters and gatorade are loaded with sugar, so stay away from sugary beverages.

Travel Toothbrushes And Floss. These compact brushes and floss picks are great for a quick toothbrushing and flossing in the back of the car before going to a new event. They will not only keep your teeth clean but they can also freshen your breath. Many travel toothbrushes already have toothpaste on them. Wetting the brush will release the toothpaste.

Snack Wisely. Not all snacks are created equally when it comes to our teeth. Snacks high in sugar and carbohydrates are worse for our teeth over the course of a long day. Choose snacks like fresh fruits, Not “fruit snacks”, (which tend to stick and stay between the teeth ) raw vegetables, lentil chips, edamame, milk, cheese, granola, whole wheat crackers, and nuts. You can even make quick oatmeal cookies by mixing an overripe banana with plain oatmeal or flavored instant oatmeal and placing spoonfuls on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, bake at 325 about 20 minutes. These can be eaten as a meal or a snack.

Drink Sugary Drinks Through A Straw. Due to the sugary deposits left in the mouth, using a straw while drinking the soda will have less contact with the teeth. Of course, it is better to avoid sugary beverages entirely, but if you must do them, use precautions and drink water directly after.

Chew Gum. Pack sugar free gum that contains Xylitol (sugar substitute) to help kill bacteria in the mouth after eating during the day. Gum will also help pull food particles off the teeth and stimulate saliva flow to help neutralize acids.

Keep A Set Of Toothbrushes By The Kitchen Sink. When mealtime needs to be rushed, most kids will not go back to the bathroom to go and brush. If the toothbrushes are right there when the dishes are going in the sink, they are more likely to find the time to brush and rinse after the meal.

Use Fluoride Rinses. Be sure to have children rinse with a fluoride rinse before bed, this should help strengthen teeth and make cavities less likely to happen.

Prepack Your Fridge. If you have pre-made sandwiches and healthy snacks like washed grapes, apple slices, or cheese cubes in ziploc bags, it is easy to grab what you need and not have to stop for unhealthy fast foods, donuts, and snacks.

Educate your kids. When kids learn about making healthier choices, have them readily available, and start to enjoy the bag of fresh berries over the flaming hot cheetos they will start feeling better and enjoy a more healthy lifestyle.

Don’t eat gummies! For some reason, packaged processed “fruit snacks” have become a new food group. Parents are under the false impression that they are healthy. They do not take the place of fresh fruit, and are one of the leading causes of tooth decay in toddlers and children. Remember, natural cane sugar is still sugar. When it sticks and stays between your child’s teeth, it will cause decay.

Conclusion

We cannot change the oral bacteria profile we develop as a child but we can do our best to manage what we are given. This should include diligent at home dental care along with regular dental visits. This will ensure a healthy smile for a lifetime.



Many people do not realize that children can develop bad breath. Most bad breath issues in kids are temporary. For children, the bad breath causes can be just as varied as for adults. However, there can be medical issues related, so it is important to figure out the cause.

Causes Of A Child’s Bad Breath

Poor Dental Hygiene. Malodor can occur, if a child does not work to keep their teeth, gums, and tongue clean.

Food Choices. If a child chooses to eat foods with garlic or onions their breath may be affected just like in adults.

Infection. Children commonly develop bad breath because of an upper respiratory infection. This infection can include the common cold, postnasal drip, or allergies. Treatment will depend on the cause but it can be difficult to treat if these are chronic issues. An oral fungal infection can also lead to bad breath.

Tonsillitis. This can also cause bad breath in kids. When the tonsils become inflamed it can restrict a child’s airway leading to more mouth breathing than usual. Mouth breathing can lead to a drying out of the oral tissues thus making the infection worse. Saliva acts as a natural lubricant of our oral tissues cleaning them over and over again. Large tonsil craters may also be the cause, food can become lodged in the pits of the tonsils and slowly decompose.

Tooth Decay. If there is a large untreated cavity it can cause bad breath. If this is the case you need to see your dentist immediately.

Intestinal Issues. May be an issue for bad breath if you are feeling gassy (burping) or vomiting your stomach contents. There may also be a residual coating on the tongue from bringing up stomach acids, this will cause malodor.

Medication Use. Certain medications will lead to a drying of the oral tissues which can also lead to bad breath in children.

Diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes eventually results in ketoacidosis, causing the breath to have an acetone  odor.

Treatment Of Bad Breath

This can include:

Maintain Good Dental Hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, tongue scraping, rinsing, and regular dental cleanings.

Gargle. This can help remove food from tonsils, and clean the back of the tongue.

Reduce Dry Mouth. Drink water, limit juice and soda pop. Try oil pulling therapy.

Medical Evaluation. Treat Infections of the body. See a doctor to evaluate ulcers or gastritis. Improve your health and you will see an immediate decrease in bad breath.

Chew gum with xylitol.

Evaluate your diet. Dairy items such as cheese and yogurt can cause bad breath. Limit sugars.

Try a neutralizing productClosys is a spray applied to the back of the tongue to neutralize volatile sulfur compounds. Neutralizers don’t mask with mint flavors, they actually remove the problem.

Bad Breath Conclusion

While bad breath in children can be a temporary nuisance, long term breath issues need to be evaluated. An increase in hygiene is always a good first attempt to rid your child of breath issues, but medical issues will not resolve by hygiene alone. If you have tried and do not see a change, talk to your dentist and pediatrician about it.



In today’s world, we are busier than ever. None more so than mom’s with young children traveling from event to event. Spending countless hours in the car and on the go. During these hectic times we tend to neglect the basics of maintaining our teeth. It is important to remember that our teeth need continual care to stay healthy and looking our best.

Dental Tips For Moms

Drink Lots Of Water. Drinking water is not only good for our bodies but also for our teeth. We tend to snack more when we are going from different events with little to no time to worry about our dental health. Drinking water will keep you and your kids hydrated but it will also reduce the effects of frequent snacking on your teeth. Rinsing with water following snacking will help reduce the food trapped between our teeth as well as reduce the acidic levels which lead to tooth decay. Flavored waters and gatorade are loaded with sugar, so stay away from sugary beverages.

Travel Toothbrushes And Floss. These compact brushes and floss picks are great for a quick toothbrushing and flossing in the back of the car before going to a new event. They will not only keep your teeth clean but they can also freshen your breath. Many travel toothbrushes already have toothpaste on them. Wetting the brush will release the toothpaste.

Snack Wisely. Not all snacks are created equally when it comes to our teeth. Snacks high in sugar and carbohydrates are worse for our teeth over the course of a long day. Choose snacks like fresh fruits, Not “fruit snacks”, (which tend to stick and stay between the teeth ) raw vegetables, lentil chips, edamame, milk, cheese, granola, whole wheat crackers, and nuts. You can even make quick oatmeal cookies by mixing an overripe banana with plain oatmeal or flavored instant oatmeal and placing spoonfuls on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, bake at 325 about 20 minutes. These can be eaten as a meal or a snack.

Drink Sugary Drinks Through A Straw. Due to the sugary deposits left in the mouth, using a straw while drinking the soda will have less contact with the teeth. Of course, it is better to avoid sugary beverages entirely, but if you must do them, use precautions and drink water directly after.

Chew Gum. Pack sugar free gum that contains Xylitol (sugar substitute) to help kill bacteria in the mouth after eating during the day. Gum will also help pull food particles off the teeth and stimulate saliva flow to help neutralize acids.

Keep A Set Of Toothbrushes By The Kitchen Sink. When mealtime needs to be rushed, most kids will not go back to the bathroom to go and brush. If the toothbrushes are right there when the dishes are going in the sink, they are more likely to find the time to brush and rinse after the meal.

Use Fluoride Rinses. Be sure to have children rinse with a fluoride rinse before bed, this should help strengthen teeth and make cavities less likely to happen.

Prepack Your Fridge. If you have pre-made sandwiches and healthy snacks like washed grapes, apple slices, or cheese cubes in ziploc bags, it is easy to grab what you need and not have to stop for unhealthy fast foods, donuts, and snacks.

Educate your kids. When kids learn about making healthier choices, have them readily available, and start to enjoy the bag of fresh berries over the flaming hot cheetos they will start feeling better and enjoy a more healthy lifestyle.

Don’t eat gummies! For some reason, packaged processed “fruit snacks” have become a new food group. Parents are under the false impression that they are healthy. They do not take the place of fresh fruit, and are one of the leading causes of tooth decay in toddlers and children. Remember, natural cane sugar is still sugar. When it sticks and stays between your child’s teeth, it will cause decay.

 Moms On The Go Conclusion

Life is hectic. We all seem to be constantly on the run trying to keep our children happy and entertained. Wanting the best for our kids includes their health. Teach your children about better options, give them healthier foods to choose from, and make sure that toothbrushing and flossing is not only being done, but being done properly. No tooth decay means no toothaches, easy dental appointments, and better overall health. The younger you are when healthy habits start, the easier to keep those habits with you throughout life!



Tooth decay, for many, can be a constant battle. There are many reasons why some people are more prone to developing tooth decay. These include poor oral hygiene, neglect, disease, inherited cavity promoting bacteria, weak enamel formation, medications, and poor dietary habits. The oral environment is  continually changing and therefore must be continually aided to fight decay.

Do Teeth Repair Themselves?

Our teeth are in a constant state of unbalance, demineralizing (breaking down) and remineralizing (building back up). With many food and drink items we ingest, the oral cavity changes from a neutral to acidic environment. The savior for us is the special properties of our saliva. Our saliva has the ability to coat the teeth with a slick film containing calcium that makes it hard for bacteria to stick and helps repair damaged enamel. Saliva also protects our teeth by neutralizing acids, and washes away the food particles  that feed the bacteria which constantly attack our teeth.

Factors Of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the direct result of demineralization by the oral bacteria, mutans streptococci and Lactobacillus. These bacteria are the principal reasons for the breakdown of our teeth. Another little known fact is that tooth decay is considered infectious and transmissable. This generally only affects those with low or compromised immune systems. The classic case is the passing of oral bacteria from mother to child.

The factors of tooth decay include:

-Poor Oral Hygiene.

-Disease. This can include cancer, xerostomia (dry mouth), and diabetes.

-Medications. Medications can cause issues with weakened tooth formation when taken as a child and may cause an acidic, dry, or irritated oral environment in an adult.

-Poor Dietary Habits. This includes frequent snacking. High acid beverages, high carb/sugary foods.

-Anatomy and Genetics.  The way teeth form has a direct effect on how and where plaque will stick. The presence of deep pits and fissures in your teeth cannot be easily cleaned with a toothbrush and so, become the ideal place for plaque bacteria to invade. There are certain genetic codes that allow for missing teeth, malformed teeth, highly irregular enamel or dentin. These teeth are generally more prone to decay.

-Dental Appliances. This includes wearing of partial dentures, braces, space maintainers, or other orthodontic appliances.

Options For Preventive Care

Instead of waiting for a problem to occur which will require repair with dental restorations, (fillings) try to prevent it instead. If  tooth decay has taken hold , know that there are a few tricks in the arsenal to combat future decay. Preventive solutions include:

-Nutritional Counseling. After creating a log of your dietary intake for 1-2 weeks, your dentist may be able to help you find the food items that are putting you at greater risk for tooth decay.

-Fluoride Treatments. Fluoride rinses, toothpastes, gels worn in custom trays, and varnishes placed by your dentist allow the enamel surface to harden and protect itself against bacterial invasion.

-Chlorhexidine Gluconate. This oral rinse has the ability to disrupt bacterial metabolism. The downside is chlorhexidine cannot be combined with fluoride, it tends to cause staining, and it does not do well vs Lactobacillus.

-Nutraceutical Phenols. These include herbal lollipops which contain a specific herbal formula extracted from licorice root. This has been shown to selectively kill gram-positive bacteria as well as all oral yeasts.

-Xylitol. This cannot be metabolized into acid by bacteria. Because it cannot be metabolized it helps reduce the population of tooth decay causing bacteria. It can also increase saliva formation which in turn can help by building our teeth back up (remineralization).

-Probiotic Therapy. This involves replenishing the good bacteria in the mouth to crowd out the tooth decay causing bacteria.

-Oil pulling. Rinsing with oil helps reduce toxins, bacterial count, and coat the teeth making them too slick for bacteria to stick.

Tooth Decay Conclusion

Tooth decay can be controlled with proper habits and being aware of your limitations. Once you have a good understanding of what issues are promoting your tooth decay, you can begin to battle it more effectively. There are many options for prevention. Discuss possible treatments with your dentist and begin your new journey towards a cavity free oral environment.