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Cavity Causing Bacteria in Babies

October 30, 2009

Filed under: News — elmbrookfamilydental @ 2:33 pm

Learning to brushWhoa baby! We’ve had many patients and even one of our own team members’ welcome new babies into the world just within the last few months. Along with all the other many things to learn about at this exciting time in their lives, we cannot forget about protecting those infants against cavities! You may be thinking: “Cavities?! My baby doesn’t even have teeth yet!” Though their teeth may not begin to erupt until they are near 6 months of age, it is not too early to start their preventative care. Before an infant is even born, they are already acquiring flora or ‘normal’ bacteria from their mothers. After birth, they are introduced to even more bacteria through contact with their mothers and other family members. The cavity causing bacteria named S. mutans is passed from person to baby through fingers, airborne saliva droplets and even kissing those cute baby faces! That’s right; the flora in your own mouth can be passed along to your new borns. Once the bacteria are introduced, there is no removing it entirely. Your job as parents will simply be to limit the amount of exposure your baby receives, and minimize the bacteria daily by keeping up on your infants oral hygiene. Before teeth erupt, a wet wash cloth can be used inside of their mouth by gently sweeping along their gums and cheeks. Once the teeth are in, a soft infant tooth brush can be used either with water, or non-fluoridated toothpaste. By reducing the amount of S. mutans bacteria in your baby’s mouth, you can lower their chances at having cavities early in their childhood. Next time you’re in to visit one of our hygienists, ask them for recommendations on the best hygiene aids for your child!

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