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Little Teeth Truths: Can cavities be spread through saliva?

From our friends at the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentists)

Question: Can cavities be spread through saliva?

Answer: It’s likely common knowledge that illnesses such as the flu and the common cold are contagious. But many parents might be surprised to find out the bacteria that causes cavities is also contagious, and can be passed along through saliva! As a parent or caregiver, this is important to keep in mind when going about your day with your little one. It’s best to avoid activities such as sharing a plate or blowing on your child’s food in order to help prevent sharing saliva that might carry cavity-causing bacteria. While it’s important to be aware of this, remember, the number one way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss each morning and night. Don’t forget to supervise your little ones during these daily dental routines until they are seven or eight years of age, or able to tie their own shoes, in order to ensure healthy little teeth.

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Joe Castellano, D.D.S., AAPD Secretary-Treasurer. Castellano received his dental degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston and completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency and specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas (UTHSC-SA). He is board certified in pediatric dentistry and is a national spokesperson of the AAPD. Castellano is an assistant Clinical Professor for the Department of Developmental Dentistry at UTHSC-SA Dental School. He is a graduate of the AAPD Leadership Institute and the AAPD Advanced Leadership Institute. He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists. Castellano is in private practice in Laredo, Texas.

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