Kissing Causes Cavities - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-15-2011, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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urg. Is this in ANY way true?  I do NOT believe it for a second, but in Japan this is common 'knowledge'.  Which explains why no one kisses their children here.  But has anyone from any other country ever heard of this? Is my DH insane or am I?

 

DH also believes that by biting DS's food into bits rather than cutting them (or even sharing food) will also cause our sons teeth to rot out of his head.

 

I am soooooo sick of hearing DH nattering on about this. And sick of having an argument over it.

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Old 03-15-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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There is evidence that shows that one of the predictors of having a lot of cavities yourself, is having a mother who has a lot of cavitites. This is because of saliva sharing. Not that it couldn'tbe dad, just that women tend to share their saliva with their kids more often. If you have a lot of cavities, you carry certain bacteria that cause cavities, and by sharing a spoon, a straw, or "cleaning" a soother by sucking on it, you are giving your baby those same bacteria. I wouldn't think a peck on the cheek would do it. It is the salivqa sharing.

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Old 03-15-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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YEs, cavities are caused by bacteria harbored in the mouth.  Kissing = saliva sharing = transmitting the bacteria = cavities. 

 

That is why you should *never* pre chew a babies food, either.


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Old 03-15-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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bah.  i think that it's true that you can transmit the cavity causing bacteria, if you are a person whose mouth contains lots of it.  there's no research into the opposite effect, though, which is weird b/c we know that people who don't have lots of cavities have more of other types of bacteria.

neither dh nor i (knock on wood) have any cavities so we're good with pre-chewing.. and kissing.  so, i guess what you'd want to do depends on the state of your own bacteria.. 


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Old 03-15-2011, 01:58 PM
 
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Wouldn't brushing the child's teeth or having the adult use mouthwash regularly help with the bacteria?  I'd rather have cavities than no kisses.  Also, I think open mouthed drooly baby kisses cause more baby saliva on my mouth than my saliva on the baby. 


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Old 03-16-2011, 04:39 AM
 
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Well, when I kiss my son, he doesn't get any of my saliva on him. He may be drooly at times but I'm certainly not! So unless you're a drooly kisser, I'm sure you're fine.


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Old 03-18-2011, 03:24 PM
 
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Most adults' mouths contain various bacteria that are cavity-causing (Strep viridans is one of them). This doesn't mean that all adults with these bacteria have a lot of cavities. It is generally good practice NOT to pass on your adult oral flora to your young children, particularly because their oral hygiene is usually not as good as an adults'. This does not, however, mean that you shouldn't kiss your children. Adult-to-child kisses are usually pretty dry, and not a lot of bacteria would be transmitted. It is recommended, though, that you not give food to your children that has previously been bitten by you, and you should also not share drinks. But even though I know this to be true, I am not very strict about it. 


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Old 03-19-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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I can't even imagine how this works. I could never NOT kiss DS (though we don't kiss on the mouth, maybe that's what you're talking about?) I also can't imagine not sharing food/drinks with DS because he isn't all that interested in food unless I'M eating it... and we do share food/drinks with friends as well (well, close friends)... I can't even figure out how you'd avoid doing so?

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Old 03-19-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post

YEs, cavities are caused by bacteria harbored in the mouth.  Kissing = saliva sharing = transmitting the bacteria = cavities. 

 

That is why you should *never* pre chew a babies food, either.


that's my understanding of the situation as well. i have never kissed a kid on the mouth, just the cheek, anyways, so i think it's a moot point in that case.

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Old 03-20-2011, 10:43 AM
 
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I've never heard this before.  We've lived in Latin America (Argentina, Costa Rica and now Colombia) with our kids, and there doesn't seem to be a phobia of kissing babies or sharing our food with them, though certainly we don't go out of our way to spit on our children's food.  They are pretty dental conscientious here. 

 

Just one of the perks of living in a multicultutral family, I think.  My husband comes from Scotland, and though not very diverse on the multi-cultural spectrum, we have had the weirdest fights over stuff where both of us think the other one is insane.  Then of course we get to have conversations with the well-meaning neighbors who have their own opinions on how children should be raised.


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Old 03-24-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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Cavities are caused by bacteria. The bacteria lives in saliva, kissing and food sharing transfers saliva. So people who say kissing causes cavities aren't just making up stories out of thin air. My problem with the "no kissing" theory is that I don't know that avoiding kissing and food sharing is really a sure fire way to avoid the bacteria entering a child's mouth anyways. Bacteria are sneaky, common, and persistent. It sounds like a massive amount of effort to avoid something that is eventually going to happen anyways. One quick kiss to your toddler from great Aunt Sally at Christmas time and YEARS worth of meticulous sterile conditions would be out the window. When a persons mouth has been colonized with bacteria once, it is nearly impossible to eradicate that organism entirely. The bacteria in our mouths tend to live within a bio film situation, and while you can suppress it you rarely kill it completely. It becomes a parasitic part of our normal flora.

 

On top of that - eliminating bacterial colonization within our bodies isn't necessarily a good goal. There has been research to show that a lack of bacterial and/or parasitic growth in our bodies is partly responsible for the higher instance of autoimmune diseases and underdeveloped immune systems in developed countries as opposed to those living in developing nations. While cavity causing oral bacteria might not be the poster child for that concept, it is a bad habit for parents to get into to attempt to keep their kid sterile.

 

So my feelings on the subject are that your best bet for cavity prevention is regular and thorough brushing of teeth, as well as avoiding excessive amounts of sweets, juice, etc., that promote excessive and rapid bacterial growth between brushing.

 

 

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Old 03-26-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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Kissing on the mouth causes cavities. My dentist cautioned me against it. I learned my lesson with ds: I shared food from my plate and utensils with him, and he had to have dental surgery by 18 mo. Dd, on the other hand, has no dental problems, due in part (I believe) to the fact that I was really careful with these tings.


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Old 03-26-2011, 05:18 PM
 
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Eh, maybe I'm an anomaly.  My parents both have tons of cavities, and despite kissing on the mouth (when I was very little), and sharing food and drinks (even still) I don't have any cavities at all right now (I had one in a baby tooth, it fell out and no more cavities).

 

If kissing does cause cavities, then my ds is probably going to have one in every tooth - I kiss him ALL the time!

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Old 03-27-2011, 06:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

Eh, maybe I'm an anomaly.  My parents both have tons of cavities, and despite kissing on the mouth (when I was very little), and sharing food and drinks (even still) I don't have any cavities at all right now (I had one in a baby tooth, it fell out and no more cavities).


Ditto -- I've never had a single cavity and I certainly shared food & drinks with my parents ALL THE TIME when I was little (still do sometimes to this day). Both of them have many cavities.

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Old 03-28-2011, 06:18 AM
 
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They say this in Finland as well. My husband had a discussion with a dental hygenist there who told him that one way to avoid cavities with kids was to avoid kissing them on or near the mouth, no sharing food, drinks, or utensils with them (basically no saliva swapping) for the first 3 years of life. She did that with her kids and none of them have cavities. My husband then shared this with his mother who informed him that they did the same with him and his siblings---which probably explains how he was able to go 5 years without going to the dentist OR brushing his teeth regularly while drinking over a liter of cola a day and eating tons of candy and only got a two tiny cavities. Meanwhile, I have horrible cavities...and so does my mom (and my dad, actually...). We're doing the same with our kids and did pretty well with my son until he was over a year old and are still trying our best. We'll see how his first dentist appointment goes when he turns 3.

We also give him xylitol chewy mints (which is used as a sweetener in Finland in lots of candies), avoid juice, etc.


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Old 03-28-2011, 02:07 PM
 
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Thought you always have bacteria in your mouth and cavities occur when you have plaque on your teeth that the bacteria consume and turn into acids that break down your teeth. Is it still true when the cavities are filled? Do you have different bacteria when you have cavities?

 

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Old 03-30-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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Nope, when you're born your mouth doesn't have any of the cavity causing bacteria in it (kind of like how before you're born, you're bacteria free). Our mouths have had a symbiotic relationship with the bacteria in our mouth for a really long time (forever?) and we never had any problems with it until we started eating a diet heavy in sugar and processed carbohydrates. When you eat sweets, it lowers the PhD level of the mouth and causes the bacteria to attack the teeth, which causes cavities. If you don't have the bacteria in your mouth, they can't attack the teeth, so you don't get cavities. And obviously the lower level of bacterial infection you have in the mouth, the harder it is for those bacteria to build up a population (especially if you brush regularly) to cause cavities. So basically,the goal is to minimize infection opportunities.


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