There are several reasons why people should avoid kissing babies at all. From the dangers of potentially spreading fatal cold sores to the common cold, protecting babies from dangerous germs is imperative.
But did you know your cavities can also pose a dangerous risk to your little ones? In a very interesting series of videos, Dr. Joyce Kahng, who is a new mom herself, explained why adult cavities are dangerous.
In the first part of her explanation, Dr. Joyce revealed that she has had a “long history of having tons of cavities,” and while all she wants to do is plant one on her baby boy’s lips, that is why she doesn’t. As the dentist continues she explained that the bacteria that are hiding in our teeth can be spread to babies through mouth kisses.
“I want to give him the best chance of not inheriting my bacteria, my cavity-causing bacteria. Before becoming a mommy I thought that this would be super easy, but it’s actually really hard.”
In the second part of the series, Dr. Joyce revealed how an experiment she was asked to do in dental school led to her decision never to kiss her future babies on the mouth. During the experiment, they were asked to swab saliva from their own mouths and grow the bacteria found on the swab in a Petri dish.
Now, this is where things get interesting. Obviously, not everyone has the bacteria that leads to an abnormal amount of cavities. Dr. Joyce demonstrated the growth of the bacteria between her friends who didn’t often get cavities compared to her growth. You can see the differences in the video below:
“It was at that moment that I realized oral hygiene is only a part of the game,” Dr. Joyce admitted. “If I have this type of bacteria, I would be forever pre-disposed to being cavity-pron. Much more so than my friends who had none of this bacteria, despite having really really good oral hygiene.”
The doctor admitted that it broke her heart to learn that she could transmit this bacteria to her baby through a simple kiss. And as she continued, there are so many ways we as humans can transmit bacteria without even knowing it.
“I don’t even share utensils or drink from the same cups. I found myself several times licking some piece of food making sure it’s not over seasoned or not too spicy before giving it to him and realizing I have to give him a separate piece from the one I licked.”
As the mom continued, she admits that the hardest part of the no kissing rule is getting everyone around her son on board. Because his grandmas help care for her little one, Dr. Joyce says getting his caretakers to also avoid kissing him on the lips has proved challenging because they don’t really understand.
In the end, Joyce says she just wanted to share this information because it’s not common knowledge for a lot of people that we can spread so many different types of bacteria so easily and that it can have a lasting effect on our children. And believe it or not, the bacteria we are specifically talking about in this article, Streptococcus mutans, can be transferred between adults as well.
Dr. Joyce further explained the transmission process and how kissing can affect cavities below:
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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