Bacteria can be passed between people via sharing of food, utensils, and even kissing. In grown adults, this is less of a problem, but in children this may raise issues as a baby’s immune system is less developed. Additionally, tooth decay in adults can increase the risk of tooth decay in children through the above and children under 3 years of age have the greatest risk of infection.

In this article, we suggest 5 things that parents and caregivers can do to reduce the harmful bacteria being passed to children,
A word on inoculation: many parents believe that these practices introduce beneficial microbes into their children’s mouths and helps to develop their immune systems. However, we would like you to also be aware that the risk of passing bacteria and infection is also present.

Practice good oral hygiene

Ensuring that we have good oral hygiene is important not only for ourselves, but for our children as well. When our mouths are clean and bacteria free, we are less likely to pass on bacteria to our children when sharing straws and utensils, kissing, or tasting food before giving it to them.

Get your children to practice good oral hygiene

When our children practice good oral hygiene, they keep their mouths clean and bacteria free. Regular brushing habits are best started young, and will pay off not only in savings in dental bills but in their overall health as well.

Avoid or at least minimize saliva sharing between adults and toddlers

Our saliva is one of the ways that our bacteria can be shared with other people. This is not necessarily a good thing. There are studies of couples passing bacteria to each other causing decay via kissing.
In children, it is common for parents or caregivers to put pacifiers in their mouth, and also to pre taste food before giving it to our children. This will easily introduce any bacteria we have into our children’s mouths.

Avoid letting pets lick children

Not all of us brush our pet’s teeth regularly, and we know where they put their tongues. Cats and dogs very commonly lick themselves, chew on furniture or grass, and are more likely to have a very high risk of bacteria.
Letting these same pets lick children risks passing these bacteria to them, especially if they kiss.

Control sugar

Sugar itself does not cause damage, but it is the acids formed by sugar in our diet is the main cause of cavities. As sugar is consumed, it interacts with bacteria in our mouths to form acids which cause cavities.
While everyone is at risk of cavities and tooth decay, children have the highest risk. The World Health Organization recommends that children take no more than 24 grams of sugar per day, and those under 6 should limit their consumption to under 19 grams per day.