Your Smoking Habit Could Be Giving Your Kids Cavities
Posted on 4/15/2016 by Thomas Mahar
If you are a smoker, you're probably tired of hearing about how bad it is for your health. You've likely even heard it from your dentist, but since you're only hurting yourself, what is the big deal?
Actually, secondhand smoke is a big deal, and studies have shown that by smoking around your kids, you could actually be giving them cavities.
About the Study Research was completed at Japan's Kyoto University in order to determine how smoking at home affected the oral health of young children. To do this, researchers examined data on about 77,000 children living in Kobe City who were born from 2004-2010.
To participate, kids needed data on their household smoking status as infants, as well as dental exam records at 1.5 years and 3 years. About 55% of the kids in the study lived with smokers, but only around 7% had parents who smoked directly around them.
About the Results The results showed that when compared to kids in households without smoking, children who lived with smokers were more than twice as likely to develop cavities before they reached three years old.
About 14% of kids in non-smoking households had developed cavities compared to 28% of kids who lived with smokers and were directly exposed to cigarette smoke. Households with smokers who didn't use cigarettes directly in front of their kids saw 20% of children with cavities.
It is hard to say exactly how these results could translate to the U.S. In Japan, the typical diet has less sugar than a U.S. diet, but Japan also has less fluoride in the water.
However, since secondhand smoke has a variety of other dangerous consequences, this is just one other reason that smokers should consider quitting, especially since negative results were found even without smoking directly around children.