childrens oral health care sm 1490

Like many areas of the body, a person’s mouth is teeming with bacteria, most of them harmless. Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

As a parent it is up to you to take your child’s oral health seriously. Here’s the truth behind some common myths about children’s dental hygiene,.

It’s okay to share utensils and cups with your children while eating. Parents should always use a separate utensil or cup when eating with their child. Recent studies have shown that young children can get cavities from Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria that passes from person to person through the transfer of saliva, such as sharing utensils and cups. A 2008 study in Pediatric Dentistry pointed to mothers as the primary source of the bacterial colonization of their children.

Blowing on food is the best way to cool down your child’s meal. This is one way Streptococcus mutans bacteria is transferred to children’s mouths.

Sugar eats tooth enamel, causing cavities. The true culprit is the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth, which converts sugar into enamel-eroding acid. Tooth enamel does not grow back, and once destroyed exposes sensitive dentine to decay. Cutting back on sugary foods provides less fuel for bacteria, and brushing and flossing regularly are vital to keep bacteria and cavity counts low.

You don’t need to worry about cavities in baby teeth. Baby teeth hold the space for permanent teeth. Tooth decay in baby teeth can result in damage to the developing crowns of the permanent teeth growing below them. If baby teeth are lost prematurely, the permanent teeth may erupt mal-positioned and require orthodontics later on. Untreated cavities in baby teeth can cause serious pain and develop into abscesses. Occasionally the infection can spread to other areas of the body, and in rare occasions can even result in death.

Anita Duhl Glicken, MSW, is the president/CEO of the nccPA Health Foundation and is project leader of the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH) Physician Assistant Initiative, which is leading the oral health charge among primary care providers, such as certified physician assistants who are often on the frontlines of oral health emergencies, education and prevention.

Published: October 2013

  • Another fun cover shoot!

  • Help for families with speical needs

  • San Diego Travel Guide Out & About With Kids Coming Soon!


  • San Diego Family Magazine

    San Diego Family Magazine

    Have you ever read something great in a magazine and then been frustrated because you can't remember where you put it? Well, so have we! That's why we think it's a fabulous idea to have the entire publication available to read online! Simply click the link below and use the arrows to turn the pages. You can search by area, event, location, or advertiser.

    Click Here to Read Online

  • Flourishing Families

    Flourishing Families

    Resources for Families with Special Needs

    Flourishing Families is the Parent Resource Guide for Children with Special Needs that contains over 950 resources in San Diego County. Read informative articles that offer help and encouragement to families with special needs. Sign up to receive our bi-monthly eNewsletter, keeping you connected to current and relevant information in the community. Ready to get out of the house? When you join our online community, you'll also discover fun family-friendly activities and events.

    Click Here to Read Online

About Us

From its humble origins as a black & white, tabloid-style newspaper, the goal has been to "provide educational articles, resources & information with a focus on family issues."

Learn more.

Find Us On...

Join other parent enthusiasts on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and other social networks!

Advertising Information

Reach out to San Diego's biggest consumer segment and help your business grow!

Learn more.

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!