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Secondhand Smoke in Infancy May Harm Kids’ Teeth

A new study by Japanese scientists reports that children exposed to secondhand smoke at 4 months of age may be at risk for cavities by age 3.

Exposure to secondhand smoke affects four out of ten kids around the world, and these kids are twice as likely to have cavities as kids whose parents didn’t smoke.

The Japanese scientists emphasized “that this study only shows an association between exposure to secondhand smoke and cavities, however, not that smoking exposure causes tooth decay.”

“Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, a clinical associate professor of health policy, health services research and pediatric dentistry at Boston University who is a spokesman for the American Dental Association, said evidence of a link between exposure to secondhand smoke and increased risk of tooth decay has mounted over the past decade.”

“Like the population in this study, exposure to secondhand smoke continues to be a problem in the U.S., suggesting value in additional research,” he said.

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