Secondhand Smoke Linked to Childhood Tooth Decay

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Many young children suffer from caries on their teeth at an early age, with roughly one in four children in the United States exhibiting some form of tooth decay between the age of two and five. This is unfortunate, as your child’s baby teeth play an important role in the long-term health of their teeth. Many parents try to spare their young ones this damage by limiting their sugar intake. Though this is a good start, secondhand smoke is another significant risk to look out for.

A scientific study looked at the rate of tooth decay in four-month-old children, comparing those who were raised among secondhand smoke with those who were exposed to little or no tobacco smoke. It was found that those coming from households that smoke had roughly twice the risk of developing caries as those from non-smoking families. It would appear that smoke from cigarettes reduces children’s ability to produce the saliva they need to clean their teeth, and invites the development of the oral bacteria that breaks down your enamel.

If you’re looking for other ways to encourage good oral health in your child, bring him or her to our Federal Way dentistry clinic.

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