Healthy habits, fewer sugary snacks and initial dental visits by a child’s  first birthday – all are preventive methods proven successful in helping reduce extensive dental work in preschoolers.

A report by Natural Awakenings magazine suggests other options to “reduce the too-common incidence of six to 10 childhood cavities” include:

  • breastfeeding only until baby teeth erupt;
  • avoiding transmission of an anaerobic oral bacteria carried in saliva that’s the leading cause of tooth decay;
  • early interceptive treatment to avoid crowding of teeth;
  • and consulting a nutritionist.

screenshot-2016-11-14-18-10-17In an interview with Dr. Susan Maples, 2016 Lucy Hobbs Project honoree and owner of Total Health Dentistry, in Holt, Michigan, she notes that Streptococcus mutans is the leading reason children are hospitalized today.

Dr. Maples explained to reporter Linda Sechrist: “Cavities are formed when the rate of decay of the teeth caused by the lactic acid produced by the bacteria exceeds the rate of repair initiated by the phosphate and calcium ions in saliva.”

“The unwanted bacteria is transmitted through saliva, which is why adults should avoid licking spoons or tasting foods before offering them to children between the ages of 1 and 3. ‘This type of bacteria thrives on sugar, so children shouldn’t have lots of sugary drinks and sweet treats,’ says Maples. Mouth kissing presents a similar risk.”

Read the full story and learn how holistic dentistry can help keep decay away: