In the middle of a pandemic, the last thing you’d think of as contagious is cavities. However, cavities can spread fast through saliva. The cavity-causing bacteria can be transferred to another person during an exchange of saliva.
Although bad oral hygiene still causes the development of cavities, it can also develop from disease-causing bacteria. The acids released from these bacteria can break down the enamel, the first layer of our teeth. Next is dentin, where the blood vessels are found. As the acids break down the tooth’s structure, the process results in tooth decay—the start of cavities.
Sharing of Toothbrush
It’s always nice to share, but never toothbrushes. Dentists have constantly reminded us that sharing toothbrushes is a bad habit. The disease-causing bacteria found in plaque and blood can accumulate in your toothbrush’s bristles without you noticing it.
If there’s an instance that you’ve used someone else’s toothbrush, you’ve welcomed a new set of disease-causing bacteria to enter your body.
Storing Toothbrushes Together
Washing your toothbrush every after use doesn’t prevent the bacteria from spreading and multiplying on it. If toothbrush heads are placed close to each other, there is a possibility that the bacteria from your toothbrush will pass on to the next toothbrush.
Dental professionals advise toothbrushes to be stored apart, placed upright, without a cover to let them dry. It’s also important to replace toothbrushes every three months to eliminate the accumulated bacteria.
It always starts with a kiss. Kissing is a direct exchange of saliva where bacteria can freely transfer to another person’s mouth. You are more likely to acquire cavities if the person you’re kissing has poor oral hygiene or has the early stages of tooth decay.
In a study from the University of Louisville, mothers with dental cavities were likely to spread the cavity-causing bacteria to their babies. Newborns are at risk since they have underdeveloped immune systems. Avoid kissing babies or using the same utensils to feed them to avoid cross-contamination.
It’s normal for households to share utensils that contribute to the spread of cavity-causing bacteria. The saliva left on utensils becomes a way for the bacteria to transfer from one mouth to another.
Utensil sharing is the leading cause why 80 percent of two-year-olds get infected with cavity-causing bacteria from their parents or guardians. Treat utensils like toothbrushes and use a set per person. Never share them.
You’ve read that right. Even the simple act of sharing your meals may become a cause of tooth decay. Sharing food, especially biting the part where someone bit already, may be a way for saliva to transfer from one mouth to another. If you still prefer to share, try cutting the piece of food off and simply give it to the other person instead of allowing them to bite.
Cavity-causing bacteria are the least of our concerns in this pandemic. However, it’s essential not to neglect your oral hygiene. Start protecting people from cavities by maintaining good oral hygiene and boosting your oral health. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and don’t forget to floss. Also, visit your dentist every six months and get regular cleanings. Don’t let tooth decay spoil your smile.
Dental House MI is the best dental clinic in Ypsilanti. Are you having problems with cavity-causing bacteria lately? We offer cleaning services that can prevent tooth decay. Book an appointment now and enjoy the perks of a healthy smile later.