Did you know that new research has found that tooth decay, dental caries, is an infectious disease?
Here’s a summary of the University of Lousiville study on the subject:
Dental caries, commonly known as tooth decay, is the single most common chronic childhood disease. In fact, it is an infectious disease, new research demonstrates. Mothers with cavities can transmit caries-producing oral bacteria to their babies when they clean pacifiers by sticking them in their own mouths or by sharing spoons. Parents should make their own oral health care a priority in order to help their children stay healthy.
Note the bold print. The problem, of course, is if a mother (or father or any other relation) that has that bacteria present in their mouth share an eating implement, etc. with a baby, those bacteria can be transmitted to the baby and begin attacking the baby’s teeth.
So it is advisable to ensure that whatever goes in baby’s mouth hasn’t been in another family members mouth first, just in case. It is also advisable to make sure older children know not to share eating implements or anything else with the baby. And, of course, you have to monitor the baby to ensure he or she doesn’t grab something it shouldn’t grab and put it in its mouth.
While parents may not be carrying those oral bacteria, this is still good common sense advice designed to ensure your baby can avoid those type of bacteria that cause tooth decay.
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