Dentists are claiming mums with dental decay can pass on oral bacteria and put their child at greater risk.
In 2016 we originally shared that a statewide plan was targeting mums with the aim to slash the number of general anaesthetics given to infants for dental procedures, as babies are able to “catch” cavities.
The Herald Sun reported at the time, that sucking a baby’s dummy, kissing, sharing eating utensils or blowing on hot food are all ways women with dental decay can pass on oral bacteria, putting their child at greater risk of disease.
Public hospital midwives and maternal health nurses across the state are being trained by Dental Health Services Victoria to get more expectant mothers’ oral health fixed, and arm them with the health messages needed to protect their kids.
Each year 4000 general anaesthetics are given to kids each year in Victorian — mainly to children aged under five — for fillings, reconstructions and teeth removals.
“If the mother’s got active dental decay in their mouth they’re going to have higher levels of the bacteria Streptoccus mutans, and they pass that along to the child,” said DHSV chief oral health adviser Dr Paula Bacchia. “Eventually everyone gets a bacteria, it gets passed on.”
UPDATE March 2018
The latest study confirms that kissing babies can damage their teeth.
Researchers at the University of Oulo, led by Jorma Virtanen, published their findings in the journal BioMed Central Oral Health, shares Daily Mail.
They quizzed 313 mothers about their thoughts on their health knowledge and their behaviours, such as sharing a spoon with their child.
They were also asked about how often they brush their teeth, smoking habits, age and level of education. These can alter someone’s risk of cavities.
The scientists were concerned as the results showed 38 per cent of mothers kissed their child on the lips and 14 per cent shared a spoon with their child.
However, 11 per cent were under the belief that oral bacteria cannot be transmitted from mother to child.
They called for further awareness to be given to new parents to advise them on how to avoid sharing bad bacteria with their children.
An Australian dentist last month re-iterated the widespread warnings over the dangers of giving babies a kiss.
Dr Michael Chong, who practices on the Gold Coast, stressed parents should get a check-up for any cavities before they do so.
He said that if parents unknowingly have cavities themselves, they risk passing on their damaging oral bacteria to their children.
Dr Chong also suggested parents avoid blowing on their child’s food to cool it down. And he said tasting a meal to check the temperature should be avoided.
Another common risk to avoid
Another common risk factor is the herpes virus – Mum’s loving kiss nearly kills her tiny baby: One Mum was left heartbroken after kissing her tiny baby left him in hospital with a soaring temperature and breathing problems.
A US mum also warned of the dangers of letting other people touch your baby after her son was hospitalised with a case of herpes. Read her story here.
Cold sores are highly contagious and can be spread by saliva, skin and touching things that are contaminated with the virus.
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