Palos Pediatric Dentistry

Sharing Germs – Preventing Cavities in Infants

December 7, 2015
|
Posted By: Dr. Richard Facko
mom holding tiny baby up | preventing cavities in infants | infant oral care in palos heights

Newborns develop entirely free of germs.  Their first exposure to germs is during delivery, during which time germs (mostly good bugs!) are passed from mother to child.  This is the first step for your child developing a healthy colony of bacteria in her mouth, stomach, and intestines.  Bacteria are essential for us to live, and believe it or not humans have more bacteria cells than human cells inside of them!!

Cavities and Germs

Cavities form when a “perfect storm” occurs in a child's mouth.  This includes a few things – cavity-causing bacteria, nutrients for the bacteria to grow, and enough time for the bacteria to grow.  If any one of those three factors is not present, your child can be cavity-free!

Transmitting Cavity Germs

Most often, cavity-causing bacteria are transmitted from mother to child.  This happens when we share saliva, whether it is cleaning off a pacifier with our mouths after it falls on the floor, testing food to be sure it's not too hot, or other saliva-sharing activities.  You can do two things to reduce the number of bacteria transmitted to your child.  First, if you don't have harmful bacteria in your mouth, you won't pass them along to your baby.  Visiting your family dentist regularly and having cavities treated will help to minimize the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth.  Second, minimizing saliva-sharing activities will reduce your child's exposure to harmful bacteria.  Children who are exposed at a very young age to cavity-causing bacteria can get much more aggressive forms of cavities, because their bodies have not developed large colonies of healthy bugs to compete with the harmful ones.

All children will be exposed to cavity-causing bacteria eventually, but delaying exposure will reduce the likelihood that they will get cavities.  Also, it will reduce the chances of them getting a very severe 

 

Contact Our Palos Heights Office Today

Learn more about caring for your baby's oral health by calling Palos Pediatric Dentistry today!

Related Blog Posts
July 30, 2018
Sealants: What They Are and Why We Might Recommend Them for Your Child
Girl at Pool | Dental Sealants Palos Heights IL

If you have children, you want to do everything you can to prevent them from developing cavities. To that end, your Palos Heights, IL dentist might recommend sealant treatment. What are sealants? And are they worth it for your child?

Let’s take a look at dental sealants.

What They Are

Essentially, a sealant ...

January 31, 2018
What Parents Should Know about Fluoride Varnish
fluoride varnish | palos heights dentist

Get your child on the right track for healthy teeth and gums from an early age. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children go to the dentist by the time their first tooth comes in or they reach the age of one year (whichever comes first). We invite you ...

October 2, 2017
Back-to-School: Packing a Lunch for a Healthier Smile
baby with toothbrush | pediatric dentistry | palos heights IL

It’s tough for parents to plan every meal. A lot goes into planning something nutritious and tasty for the every member of the family. If you follow a few guidelines, however, it is easy to avoid the foods that can negatively impact your teeth.

Ditch the Juice

While juice may seem like ...

If you have difficulty using our website, please email us or call us at (708) 263-6708
View the ADA Accessibility Statement