Many parents have been taught that sharing utensils or sucking on pacifiers to clean them can help a child build immunity. The journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics has even published a study detailing the immunological benefits of adult saliva. However there has been much debate about whether parents should follow this rule of thumb.
The American Dental Association (ADA) was quick to follow up this study with their respond, explaining that this may not be a good idea. ADA noted that the adult saliva contains a whole host of microorganisms that may be harmful to a child health. The transfer of saliva may end up increasing a baby’s chance of developing tooth decay in the future. Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, who is a spokesperson for the ADA, points to Streptococcus mutans as a bacteria present in adult saliva that my end up doing some serious damage to teeth.
However, there are others that continue to support the American Academy of Pediatrics. While they understand the risks of being more susceptible to bacteria, proponents of adult saliva transfer believe that should not be the main concern at hand. It has been argued that certain adults may not even have these harmful microorganisms present in their oral cavity. What should be priority is parents’ responsibility to provide good oral hygiene for their child. These dentists argue that no matter what, babies will continue to be exposed to different harmful microorganisms, whether it Is from what they consume or touch throughout the day. The key to limiting the progression of child tooth decay is to keep up with proper oral care. Parents need to be reminded of the importance of proper brushing, rinsing, and flossing for their child. Dentists believe that this aspect of oral health takes precedent over staying away from microorganisms that can harm the child.
Our pediatric Dentist, Dr. Pradhan, will more than willing to take care of your child’s dental needs. Also, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts, questions,or concerns; they will be happy to answer them! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.