Can Kids Get Sick From Germs in the Mouth?

Germs can spread and thrive in all sorts of places, including the mouth. In fact, illness can begin in the mouth and be transmitted to others orally as well. Kids are especially vulnerable to getting sick, as they may not have yet solidified their oral hygiene habits and their immune systems are not as strong as they are in adults. For this and so many more reasons, it is essential to ensure kids are diligent about keeping their mouths free of germs.

How Can I Prevent My Kids from Getting Sick?

There are plenty of ways that children can get sick, but there are also plenty of ways to prevent illness too. Some of the following prevention tips will help to prevent infectious diseases in kids:

  1. Remind kids to wash their hands

Germs can be spread through touch, which is why it’s so important to wash your hands frequently- especially before eating and after using the bathroom, touching someone else’s hands, sneezing and/or coughing.

  1. Make sure kids are properly brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing daily

Adequate brushing and flossing will help prevent germs from spreading from the mouth into the rest of the body.

  1. Change your child’s toothbrush after they are sick, and every 3 months in healthy children

Germs will spread onto the toothbrush, so in order to prevent re-infection it’s best to change your child’s toothbrush to a new one after being diagnosed with a contagious illness. If kids aren’t sick, it’s still important to change the toothbrush every three months for best brushing results.

  1. Kick bad habits like thumb sucking, nose-picking and not covering their mouths when coughing/sneezing

The sooner these habits are history, the better! These are all ways for kids to get sick, so research ways to help your kids end these habits.

  1. As parents, make sure you are also doing all of these things too to prevent the spread of illness

Which Bad Habits Cause Kids to Get Sick?

  1. Thumb-sucking

This a very common habit amongst kids, and it allows germs to be introduced directly from the hands into the mouth.

  1. Not washing hands before eating and after using the bathroom

Illnesses such as e. coli, salmonella, common upper respiratory infections and more can all be caused by unwashed hands coming into contact with food and the mouth.

  1. Forgetting to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze

This directly spreads germs through the air and through droplets (mucus and saliva) to other people.

  1. Picking their noses

Whatever bacteria were on the finger will be directly introduced into the nose and vice versa from the nose to the finger.

  1. Forgetting to brush and floss their teeth daily

Not only does dental hygiene help to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath, but it also helps to get rid of any germs that were introduced into the mouth that may cause an illness.

Kids can definitely get sick from the germs in their mouths, which is yet another reason to make sure they are keeping up with their dental hygiene habits! Furthermore, keeping kids’ hands away from their faces, washing hands frequently, and following social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic are all especially important in preventing kids from getting sick. Advanced Children’s Dentistry is open for pediatric dental emergencies in Nassau County, NY. In case your child is experiencing a dental emergency, please call us at 516-758-KIDS.

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