Children these days are developing cavities and other serious problems with their teeth earlier than ever before. The reason may surprise you.
Dentist Dr. Maria Connoyer said, "You don't want to be sharing toothbrushes, sharing drinks or spoons, That's all a really bad idea."
If you're guilty of it, you're not alone. Many moms and dads don't think a thing about feeding kids with their own forks or even "cleaning" fallen pacifiers with their mouths.
But Dr. Connoyer says doing those things can end up transmitting lifelong dental diseases to your children.
Dr. Maria Connoyer said, "Bacteria is transmissible. So if you have a high amount of bacteria in your mouth or periodontal disease, you're transferring that to your child or your baby even before you have teeth. So you're introducing bacteria to them at a much younger age and you're starting a downward spiral of their oral health."
That decline could mean your children could be more prone to early cavities or gingivitis as a child of a teenager.
Another big reason kids are developing cavities and other serious dental problems sooner than ever these days is because of what they're drinking. Dr. Connoyer says you should avoid giving children juice and other sugary drinks. Some of the worst are 'Hogwash' and 'Bug juice' - which coat the teeth with sugar.
Also start brushing your child's teeth as soon as they start to appear. This develops early habits that children will keep for a lifetime.
Dentist Dr. Maria Connoyer says it is hard to brush a young child's teeth.
To make it easier, she suggests laying your child down on the floor or a bed to brush their teeth at first.
She says that makes it easier for you to see what you're doing...and harder for them to look away.