Learn About the Impact Smoke Has on Developing Teeth from a Kids Dentist in Cohasset

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Learn About the Impact Smoke Has on Developing Teeth from a Kids Dentist in Cohasset

September 02, 2017

Have you read the report about how second-hand smoke can influence a child's teeth? As a kids dentist in Cohasset, we attempt to spread the word about second-hand smoke. The American Dental Association published the report, http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/science-in-the-news/secondhand-smoke-and-caries, and any parent who smokes or has friends and family who do should read it.

Is second-hand smoke bad for kids' teeth?

This is a question that we hear as a kids dentist in Cohasset. Second-hand smoke is bad for the teeth. There have been numerous studies that show how smoking directly can lead to problems with oral health. People frequently develop mouth and throat cancers as a result of tobacco exposure.

However, there has been less research conducted on the impact of second-hand smoke on oral health, which is what makes this study so fascinating. The study sighted by the ADA finds that children who were exposed to second-hand smoke as infants were more likely to develop dental caries as a toddler.

The study included a large sample size

The study the ADA was referencing came out of Kobe, Japan. This study included a large sample size since all women and children under the age of three were included in it. This means that the sample size was large enough and included people of all incomes and socioeconomic statuses.

It also means that the risk of genetics influencing the study was greatly reduced. With such a large sample size, we can have confidence in the accuracy of their findings.

Exposure matters, even before a child has teeth

One of the interesting aspects of the study is that they looked at children who were exposed to second-hand smoke at four months of age. Most children do not have teeth that have erupted through the gums at this age. Only early teethers do. This means that second-hand smoke can have a negative impact on teeth before they are physically exposed to the smoke. This speaks to the incredible toxicity of it.

Tips for parents with at-risk kids

Since children are at greater risk for dental caries after being exposed to second-hand smoke, it is important for parents to do what they can to reduce or eliminate their child's exposure. Any parent who actively smokes should try to quit and if they cannot do so or do not wish to do so, should always smoke outside and away from their children.

Sometimes children are exposed to smoke not because of their parents but because of relatives, friends or even public settings like restaurants. It is important to avoid any buildings that contain second-hand smoke so if one tends to be smoky, go somewhere else.

As for friends and family, it can sometimes help to ask them to smoke away from the child. Most people will be accommodating and try to do so.

Schedule an appointment with a kids dentist in Cohasset

Children who are at greater risk for developing dental caries need to visit the dentist more frequently. We recommend doing so at least twice a year, sometimes more often depending on the child. We can clean and examine their teeth, reduce other risk factors and treat any caries as they form.