San Diego Moms: What I Learned About My Kid’s Teeth

I’ve always thought teeth were high-maintenance. The process of brushing, flossing and gargling while ensuring you do your twice-a-year check-ups can be exhausting. Then, you have children and the work doubles. But, over the years, I’ve learned that dental care is about more than just aesthetics or having chompers to eat yummy foods — it’s about your overall health.

Now, my knowledge of dental care and more importantly, my children’s teeth, has increased thanks to the new book “If Your Mouth Could Talk” by local orthodontist and dentofacial orthopedist Dr. Kami Hoss. Hoss, who is also the founder of The Super Dentists, breaks down every piece of dental health from how it affects your breathing to your confidence to most importantly, your overall health.

Here are a few snippets of what I learned about children’s teeth.

  • Dental caries, the disease that causes cavities, is the most common chronic disease of children. And, children’s tooth decay is four times more common than early childhood obesity, five times more common than asthma, and 20 times more common than diabetes!
  • Children in California miss 874,000 days of school every single year due to dental problems.
  • When your infant is teething, it’s best to stay away from medications and oral gels. Hoss recommends using safe teething rings that have been refrigerated (not frozen). But, he cautions to read about the product before giving it to your baby. In fact, the FDA issued a warning on teething necklaces after an 18-month-old was sadly strangled by one.
  • Enamel on baby teeth is thinner than on permanent teeth and the pulp is larger so dental decay can spread to the nerve faster. Hoss recommends wiping your child’s gums and teeth with a wet cotton gauze after feeding to remove the sugar and bacteria that could cause decay.
  • Hoss recommends considering seeing a pediatric dentist before your baby is born so you know what to expect. I actually wished I did this before my children were born because, by the time they arrived, it’s difficult to get caught up on learning.
  • Finally, if you’re considering having a baby, go to the dentist for a check-up because unhealthy gums can actually lead to infertility! Hoss said the presence of a common periodontal bacteria in saliva that indicates poor oral health was three times more prevalent in women who did not become pregnant and was associated with a significantly increased risk of infertility.

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About the Author

About Dr. Kami Hoss

Dr. Kami Hoss is a nationally sought-after expert with a master’s in craniofacial biology from USC, a doctorate in dental surgery from UCLA, and a post-doctorate in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. With over 25 years of experience in the dental field, Dr. Hoss is a #1 National Best Seller author frequently featured on NBC, ABC, FOX, NPR, and CBS affiliates, and founder of The Super Dentists, one of the leading multi-specialty dental practices in the country.

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