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ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2011) - New parents have one more reason to pay attention to the oral health of their toothless babies. A recent University of Illinois study confirms the presence of bacteria associated with early childhood caries (ECC) in infant saliva.
ECC is a virulent form of caries, more commonly known as tooth decay or a cavity. Cavities are the most prevalent infectious disease in U.S. children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"By the time a child reaches kindergarten, 40 percent have dental cavities," said Kelly Swanson, lead researcher and U of I professor of animal science. "In addition, populations who are of low socioeconomic status, who consume a diet high in sugar, and whose mothers have low education levels are 32 times more likely to have this disease."