It’s not unusual to see a mom “clean off” a pacifier in her own mouth before giving it to baby or take a bite from the same spoon her little one is using. But these commonplace behaviors involve an exchange of saliva, and the consequences could be negative.
“Bacteria that cause dental caries—or cavities—can be passed from parent to child, even before that child has his or her first baby teeth,” informs Rob Compton, DDS, senior vice president and chief dental officer of DentaQuest and president of the DentaQuest Institute. “Babies are actually born without cavity-causing bacteria in their mouths, so in addition to practicing good oral health habits early, it’s also smart to limit activities where that bacteria can be passed along to your child.”
Avoid blowing on baby’s food to cool it, don’t share utensils or toothbrushes, and wash pacifiers with water when needed. “Kisses certainly aren’t off-limits,” assures Compton, “but try a kiss on the cheek instead.”