Are Cavities Contagious?

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New parents should be aware that cavities are indeed contagious.  Moreover, it is important to realize that we are not born with the bacteria that cause cavities in our mouths.  The bacteria that causes cavities is in fact introduced into the mouths of children by others who have the bacteria.

The most common cause of spreading the bacteria that causes cavities (Streptococcus mutans) to children is from their parents.  Sharing drinking cups, eating utensils, or toothbrushes may all constitute a means by which cavity-causing bacteria may be shared.

Of course, almost everyone will at some point likely be ‘infected’ by the bacteria that causes cavities.  Nonetheless, by making steps to reduce exposure and avoid the the spread of cavity-causing bacteria during early childhood, parents may in fact provide their children with additional means of protection from cavities.  Taking into consideration the higher likelihood of cavity formation in early childhood, each preventative factor can make a difference.   

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