THE REASON DAILY brushing and flossing are crucial for controlling harmful oral bacteria is that they quickly reproduce. In a healthy, clean mouth, it's possible to have anywhere from a thousand to a hundred thousand bacteria on the surface of each tooth, but that can soon increase to as many as a hundred million to a billion bacteria per tooth without flossing or brushing.
Our Oral Bacteria
An individual will, on average, have between 34 and 72 unique types of oral bacteria. Once we get a strain of bacteria in our mouths, it is unlikely that it's going away. The difficulty is that each person has different bacteria, so kissing or sharing drinks with someone or kissing could bring in new strains.
Kids Don't Have Adult Oral Bacteria Yet
This is even more dangerous for children than adults. Young children don't have as many oral bacteria as adults, and their immune systems aren't used to coping with them. Too many kisses from parents can leave them more susceptible to cavities.
Protect Your Child's Oral Health
The best way to bypass sharing your oral bacteria with your child is to make sure they always have their own drink instead of giving them sips from yours, keep those kisses to the cheek, don't share your spoon or fork with them, and don't use your mouth to clean a dropped pacifier.
As long as you're taking good care of your oral hygiene and health, you don't need to worry as much about spreading dangerous, cavity-causing germs with your kisses, but even then, avoid doing things that could spread oral bacteria to small children.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.