Does Kissing Cause Cavities In Children?
Tooth decay is caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus Mutans (SM), which can be transferred to your child’s mouth through saliva.
The higher the levels of MS in your mouth, the greater the risk of transferring it to infants through common activities like kissing, sharing food and drinks, and baby pacifiers.
Below we outline some simple steps that parents can follow to avoid transferring the SM bacteria to children.
However, it’s also very important that the adults in the family routinely visit the dentist and practice good oral hygiene.
When Are Children Most at Risk of Developing Cavities?
Children are most at risk of getting cavities in infancy and during tooth eruption.
This is the time that baby teeth are most vulnerable.
How Does Sharing Food Transfer Bacteria That Causes Cavities?
Sharing food can transfer Streptococcus Mutans (SM) if one person takes a bite of the food before sharing with your child.
Sharing drinks and utensils make it easy for the bacteria to be transferred from person to person.
Can I Give My Child Streptococcus Mutans (SM) By Kissing Them?
Kissing your baby or child on the mouth is the most common way to transfer the Streptococcus Mutans (SM) bacteria.
Kissing children on the mouth should be avoided by parents and other persons especially during the early months and years when a child’s immune system is weaker than adults — weaker immune systems are more susceptible to disease and infection.
Children can be at risk as early as 4-6 months of age when the first teeth erupt and as late as 12 years old when the molars erupt.
How Can I Prevent Streptococcus Mutans (SM) From Getting on My Baby’s Pacifier?
If your baby’s pacifier falls to the floor, and there isn’t any running water to clean off the pacifier, don’t place the pacifier in your mouth before giving it back to the baby. Doing this is an easy way to transfer cavity-causing bacteria to your child.
To reduce the risk of cavities, it’s important that all members of the family regularly visit the dentist. At Simon Pong we see children as young as 2 years old, which sets your kids up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene. Contact us today to set up a child-friendly appointment.