Newborns do not have the bacteria that causes dental caries. Bacteria enters from parents passing germs by shared saliva. When you share spoons, clean off pacifiers by putting them in your mouth or test food temperature, bacteria can pass from parent to child. If the parent is especially prone to cavities, extra caution should be taken to avoid your saliva entering your child’s mouth. Young children are more susceptible to bacteria because their immunity is not built up yet.
Here are some tips for parents to lessen exposure to unwanted Streptococcus mutans.
- Avoid sharing utensils and beverages with your young child.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- If you have a higher incidence of dental caries chew gum with Xylitol.
- See a dentist regularly! Many adults skip their regular cleanings and this can cause an increase in bacteria.
- Practice good dental habits not only for yourself but also for your children.