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Will Your Kid Get Cavities as an Adult?

Posted on April 20, 2015
I was lecturing to a New Mommy class the other evening. I told them if they could get their kid to age 10 or 11 without cavities they were home free. Essentially they would be free of cavities for the rest of their lives. It sounded pretty good at the time, even I was inspired! But do you ever get that nagging feeling like, “How do you know that, smarty pants?” (Or, maybe that was my lovely spouse talking!) Anyway, I went back and found the article.

Two very careful Pediatric Dentists, Dr. Li and Dr. Wang wrote a paper titled: Predicting Caries in the Permanent Teeth from Caries in the Primary Teeth: An Eight-Year Cohort Study. Careful is right, these doctors followed 350 kids from age 3-4 yrs until they were 11-13 years old. You gotta love people who are dedicated. In a nutshell here is what they found:

1) To predict caries (cavities) in permament teeth look for cavities in baby molars.

2) Of kids who got cavities in the the permanent teeth, 95% had cavities in their babymolars.

3) Conversely, of the kids that did NOT have cavities in the baby molars, 85% of them were cavity free at age 12.

4) In other words, baby cavities predict your kid will be 3 times more likely to get permanent tooth cavities.

Okay, I remembered! What does that mean for parents? It means you gotta enforce brushing at an early age and you have to stick with it until middle school. Don’t let that kid talk you out of helping them brush and don’t think getting a cavity in the baby teeth, or three or eight is not a big deal. It IS a big deal and will likely predict many more visits to the Dentist as an adult. It is all about the brushing and the cajoling and the caring and the habits. And let Big Grins Pediatric Dentistry help by reinforcing those habits early. Those prevention minded trips to the dentist as a young child are an investment in a kid’s future. For more on this blog or any other pediatric dentistry topic, email Greg Evans at greg@gobiggrins.com. I love what I do and I love helping you raise healthy, happy children!