Harmful bacteria from a parent’s mouth can be passed to a baby’s mouth, putting the child at increased risk for dental decay. Most American caregivers don’t realize that they can pass dental disease to their babies. Streptocccus mutans bacteria is transferred when items contaminated with saliva enter the child’s mouth. This can occur through shared food or eating utensils or through cleaning a baby’s pacifier in one’s mouth. Americans often share utensils with their children but this passing of bacteria can lead to dental decay.
Babies are born without any harmful bacteria in their mouths but once bacteria colonize in their mouth, the child may be prone to decay. If the parent has a history of poor dental health, he/she is more likely to pass these harmful germs. So practice good oral hygiene and keep your children’s teeth healthy!