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Video: Most Parents and Caregivers Unaware Their Best Intentions May Be Fostering Tooth Decay in Children
Date:1/28/2009

New Survey Shows Parents and Caregivers are Uninformed about Cavity-Causing Bacteria and Teeth-Friendly Snacks

CHICAGO, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the recognized leader in children's oral health, many parents and caregivers are unaware that routine practices, such as providing healthy snacks and sharing utensils, may increase children's risk of developing cavities.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/aapd/36421/

The national survey, conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by the AAPD, found that 96% of U.S. adults with children under 12 years old in their household thought a cracker was better for children's teeth than a piece of caramel. The truth is that starches can lead to cavities just as sugars can, and caramels dissolve more quickly from the mouth than crackers.(1) Therefore, the longer children's teeth are exposed to the food, the more damage is done. A cracker may be more figure-friendly, but it is not a teeth-friendly snack.

Additionally, the survey shows that only 13% of adults with children under 12 years old in their household know that they can spread cavities to children, similar to a cold or the flu. Children are not born with cavity causing-bacteria in their mouths, and babies and small children can actually "catch" bacteria from their caregivers.(2,3) Sharing utensils or letting children put their fingers in your mouth can transfer bacteria in the saliva, which can cause tooth decay.

"Although most parents and caregivers don't believe they are putting their children at risk for tooth decay, many parents and caregivers unfortunately -- and unintentionally -- are doing so," said AAPD President Dr. Beverly Largent. "Cavities and other dental health issues affect not
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SOURCE American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
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