Dentists Warn Parents with Higher Levels of Decay-Causing Bacteria are putting their Baby’s Oral Health at Risk

Giving your baby a good night kiss or blowing on their hot food could be putting their oral health at risk. Dental Health Services Victoria is warning that parents could be passing on cavity-causing bacteria to their children. Dr. Paula Bacchia, chief oral health adviser for the DHSV, said that parents with dental decay could be putting their little one at risk of developing cavities.

Kisses: Parent’s with poor oral health, particularly high levels of Streptococcus mutans, could be putting their little one at risk when the kiss them or blow their hot food. 

“If the mother’s got active dental decay in their mouth, they’re going to have higher levels of the bacteria Streptococcus mutans, and they pass that along to the child,” she said in a report by the Herald Sun.

Streptococcus mutans causes tooth decay. Over 2014 and 2015, the DHSV reported 1,050 children were put under general anaesthesia for tooth decay treatments, fillings and tooth extractions in Victoria, according to Bite Magazine.

To combat the growing dental problem the DHSV have developed a strategy for the next five years aimed at improving oral health across the state. Under the programme, midwives and nurses will be trained to recognise the early signs of dental issues.

The plan, which is currently under consultation, will also target expectant mothers and giving them support to improve their oral health education before giving birth.

Spreading germs: Dental Health Services of Victoria recorded 1,050 children were put under general anaesthesia for tooth decay treatments.

This comes as new DHSV statistics have revealed that two thirds of expectant mothers in Victoria are presenting at public dental clinics with untreated tooth decay. Parents are being encouraged to avoid giving their child sweets, sugary treats and juices. – Alisha Buaya