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Childhood Caries and Passive Smoke Exposure

Childhood Caries and Passive Smoke Exposure

Childhood caries is a particular problem in developed countries with a rate of 20.5% in children aged between 2 and 5 in the United States. There is a number of very effective ways for parents and caregivers to reduce the risk of early childhood tooth decay in kids. Prevention methods commonly used at the Kids Dentistry Center include restricting a child’s access to sugary foods, using fluoride varnish or other types of fluoride treatments as well as regular checkups and professional cleanings.

Concern That Second-Hand Smoke Could Increase the Risk of Childhood Caries

However there has been concern that second-hand smoke could increase the risk of childhood caries in young children which is why a group of researchers in Japan wanted to investigate this suspicion. The research study looked at exposure to smoke during pregnancy and to household smoke in infants at age four months as being risk factors for tooth decay in children’s baby teeth.

Researchers analyzed data for nearly 77,000 children born between 2004 and 2010 and who attended dental health checkups at regular intervals in Japan. The mothers were given questionnaires to assess the amount of secondhand exposure to smoke from pregnancy to the age of three years. The questionnaire also assessed other factors such as oral care and diet. The rate of tooth decay was defined as a child having at least one tooth filled, missing or decayed, as assessed by a qualified dentist.

Why Parents or Caregivers Should Avoid Child’s Exposure to Smoke

The study found that exposure to tobacco smoke at the age of four months was associated with a twofold increase in the risk of childhood caries compared to a child living in a smoke free household. As the study was purely observational, it’s impossible to draw a definitive conclusion about these results and it’s possible that they may have been influenced by other factors. However the researchers felt that exposure to second-hand smoke at the age of four months could be linked with an increased risk of tooth decay in milk teeth.

How We Can Help Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy and Cavity Free

As we mentioned earlier, there are a number of preventive measures that will help keep your kids teeth healthy and problem free. Our dental practice does focus very heavily on preventive dental care for young children and we have also designed our practice to make sure it is appealing for young children as our aim is always to ensure every visit is as enjoyable as possible.

The best way by far to keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong is to make sure your child sees one of our excellent pediatric dentists, for example Dr Marina Krepkh, at regular intervals. We like to see children as soon as they get their first milk teeth or by age 1.

We Recommend Preventive Dental Care

At this stage we can gently examine your child’s mouth, can assess their potential risk of dental caries and will recommend the most suitable preventive dental care. This could be as simple as showing you how to brush your child’s teeth and how to floss in between them as soon as they begin to come into contact. If we think they have a higher risk of tooth decay, we may suggest using fluoride treatment to harden the tooth enamel, reducing the possibility of childhood caries.

Kids Best Dentist Brooklyn NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)
(718) 491-5300

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Patients are seen by appointment
Monday 10am – 8pm
Tuesday 11am – 5pm
Wednesday 2pm-7pm
Thursday 3pm-7pm
Friday 10am-4pm

Once a month on Saturday, call the office 718-491-5300 to find out which Saturday.