Tooth decay is transmitted from adults to children

14. October 2009  
Filed in News

It is probably very few new mothers, who know bakteriesammensætningen in their own saliva and probably even fewer that know this have an impact on their child's dental health the rest of his life. Kisses and hugs are fine, but contact and exchange of saliva can transfer the ”cariesbakterier” from mother to child. Parents should be better informed, reads the assessment from the Professor of Dentistry in Copenhagen Svante Twetman.

Mothers pass bacteria to their children
People who have much caries, and often have a special bakteriesammensætning. And these ”cariesbakterier” can infection. Studies show that the bacteria in infants in more than 70 percent of the cases comes from the mother, however the infection can also take place from other relatives or, for instance, in vuggestuemiljøet.

Mom with many ”cariesbakterier” are at high risk to transfer these to their children by, for example, to share the fate of their children or the taste of the baby feeding bottle. The earlier a child is exposed to the cariesbakterier, the greater the risk is that the bacteria establish a permanent and on a large scale. Thus, there is increased risk that the child develops caries in pre-school, writing Tandlægebladet.

According to professor Svante Twetman is it first and foremost to avoid direct spytkontakt. You should as parents avoid to take the child's pacifier or other things that need to check in the child's mouth, into his own mouth. One should not, for example, test barnemadens temperature in his own mouth. And one should not wash the pacifier or ”do it clean” by taking it in the mouth.

Another precaution, which the mother can take is to try to reduce its own level of cariesbakterier. With a background in several independent studies highlights Svante Twetman, ”mother can treat themselves antibacterial by rinsing the mouth with klorhexidinopløsning, or she may choose to chew xylitoltyggegummi in the period up to the child's first tandfrembrud.”

He stresses that there is some evidence that the tandsundheden in children can be improved if the tandplejepersonalet provides prospective and new parents information and advice on how to avoid the transfer of cariesbakterier to her child.

Read more in Tandlægebladet no. 12 2009 or on