Every time a mother shares a utensil with her baby, she could be putting the baby at risk for tooth decay. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, babies are not born with the harmful bacteria that can lead to cavities; instead, they get it from their mothers. This transfer often happens when moms put baby spoons in their mouths before feeding their child or allow a baby to put its fingers in their mouth. Mothers who have a history of dental problems are most likely to pass harmful bacteria to their children because they have an increased number in their own mouths.
The AAPD suggests that dads can also pass bacteria to their children, but not at the rate that mothers do. Moms who have not had cavities since their teens or earlier are less likely to put their children at risk, but it is still important to protect babies’ teeth. Studies have shown that infants who are exposed to tooth-decaying bacteria are much more likely to get cavities throughout their lifetime than those who do not get the bacteria until later in life. For more helpful tips about keeping your child’s teeth healthy, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist on your True Care Advantage plan.