Are Your Kids "Catching" Cavities?

July 6th, 2014

It’s not surprising that it's possible to catch a cold or the flu. But are cavities transmittable like these common viral infections? Not only is it possible, but it frequently occurs between parents and their children. Studies have also shown that transmission typically occurs between couples. Researchers have discovered that tooth decay is not very different from other infections. Just as the common cold can be passed from person to person, so can cavity-causing bacteria.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Cavities form when plaque, a slimy film of bacteria, sticks to teeth. This bacteria feeds on food particles and sugars left over on teeth, and produces acids that destroy tooth enamel.

Researchers have found that this bacteria is often transmitted through sharing utensils, drinks, foods, and kissing. Generally, any activity that involves saliva passing from one mouth to another. Mothers with cavities can transmit oral bacteria to their infants, for instance, when cleaning pacifiers or testing to see if food is too hot.

No need to worry! Here are some tips to help prevent the spread of bacteria in your family:

Avoid sharing utensils.

It is very common to share food with your family using the same spoon or fork. Sometimes parents might even find themselves cleaning off their child’s spoon with their own mouth. By avoiding this habit, you can help prevent the flow of bacteria in your household.

Clean pacifiers with water from the sink.

Avoid washing  off pacifiers with your mouth.  Washing the pacifier with warm water from the sink or having an extra pacifier nearby is much more beneficial for your child's oral health.

Only use your own toothbrush.

Make sure that every one has their own toothbrush! Bacteria from your mouth resides on your toothbrush and should not be shared with anyone else to avoid passing bacteria around to other family members. Also, the American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush approximately every 3-4 months.

Encourage keeping a clean mouth.

Make brushing teeth contagious! Get your child excited about brushing by creating catchy songs for brushing or brushing along with your child. Also, try taking your kids with you to pick out a fun colored toothbrush. Remind your children to brush and floss after meals.

Avoid Sugary Juices. 

Sugar helps bacteria thrive and produce acids that lead to tooth decay. Avoid sports drinks, sodas, and many fruit juices because they typically contain a lot of sugar! Milk and water are good beverage options for keeping your child hydrated.

Dental sealants are also a good resolution for fighting tooth decay. Sealants provide a protective layer for the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth. It is essential to remember that your child’s oral health is directly related to their overall health! Poor oral health habits can increase risks for developing other diseases and infections.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.


Quick Tips from the Tooth Fairy

August 28th, 2013

As a parent with a busy schedule, it can get tough monitoring and helping with the care of a child’s oral health. However, a child’s maintenance of good oral hygiene is extremely important, not just for their oral health but also for their overall health. On top of this week’s grocery list and the errands that need to be completed, we’ll throw in just a few more reminders and tips on the care of a child’s teeth.


  • Although work schedules can get overwhelming, a great and healthy way to spend time with the kids is to join them while they brush and floss. Children learn by example, and a great way for them to pick up good oral hygiene is if their parents show them great brushing and flossing techniques.


  • Keep track of times when your child demonstrates good oral hygiene. A fun way to get children to stick to good oral care is to create a calendar that can track their oral health. Hang the calendar in the bathroom and post a gold star or a fun sticker on days when they did a great job brushing and flossing their teeth. This is can get children excited about maintain good oral health and is a wonderful way to let their dentist know how they are doing!


  • There have been recent studies showing that bacteria responsible for tooth decay can be transferred when parents clean their child’s pacifier or bottle nipple. It’s best to clean these items in warm, soapy water and to avoid sharing food and drinks and children.


  • It is no secret that children love to get their hands on sweets. However, sugar-heavy foods can end up creating an environment that is optimal for the growth of tooth decay-causing bacteria. Try to opt for products containing xylitol, which is a tooth-friendly, nonfermentable sugar alcohol that does not get converted in the mouth to acids like regular sugars. It can reduce the levels of bacteria in saliva and can also act against some of the bacteria responsible for ear infections!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or



Pacifier Recall

July 13th, 2009


Learn about recalls directly from the Consumer Product Safety Commission by signing up for their email alerts.

There was a recent recall of pacifiers announced by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission that we were made aware of, and wanted to share. 

The pacifiers are called "Jaloma Pacifiers" by importer Gromex Inc. People should stop using these pacifiers immediately unless otherwise instructed.  The recall is because the pacifier mouth guard and the ventilation holes are too small and fail to meet federal safety standards.  The pacifier could pose a choking risk and aspiration hazard to young children.

Read below for details about the recall.  As a mother, it is very helpful for me to be informed of recalls directly from the CPSC.  They are sent via email and I'm alerted the same day as the recall, allowing me to learn about it as early as possible.  To sign up, you simply go to and fill out the form.  There are several options depending on the type of products you want to be informed about.

Description:  This pacifier has a ring-shaped handle and a round-shaped mouth guard with two ventilation holes. “Jaloma” is printed on the handle side of the mouth guard and the nipple has a gel-like liquid inside.

Sold at: Retail stores in New Jersey and New York from February 2008 through March 2009 for about $1.

Manufactured in: Mexico

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled pacifiers away from children and contact Gromex for a refund or exchange.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Gromex collect at (973) 458-9399 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.

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