Saliva Spreads Germs… Including The Ones That Cause Decay
We found an interesting study that concludes that adult saliva may have immunological benefits and that parents who lick their child’s dummy can help protect their child from developing allergies.
However, according to the American Dental Association, the study fails to take into consideration that adult saliva contains bacteria and a parent sucking on a child’s dummy to clean it transmits those bacteria to the infant. Some of these bacteria will be the type that can cause tooth decay or gum disease. The habits mentioned might offer some immune benefits to a child, but may also put them on the pathway to developing dental disease.
“A child’s teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they begin to erupt,” a paediatric dentist spokesperson of the ADA says. The ADA response then reminded readers that breast milk also offers immunological benefits to the infant, without the risk of transferring decay-causing bacteria.
Read more about this in this ADA report: