Why the high numbers? Babies can be infected by their parents.
Normally, babies are born without this harmful bacteria in their mouths. But studies have shown that mothers can directly infect their children before the age of two (more than dads). This bacteria is transferred through saliva, and this occurrence is a lot more common than you think.
How many times do you feed your baby with the same spoon you use? Or teach them how to brush their teeth with your own toothbrush? These are just a couple of ways saliva can be transferred to your infant. If you have an issue with cavities yourself, you are likely to be passing these germs along to your child. Once these mutans colonize within your child's mouth, they are more likely to get cavities and teeth that can cause them pain. They may even have difficulty eating, which could indicate a condition known as "soft teeth." According to Dr. Edelstein, "It's an old wives' tale that 'soft teeth' run in families, but what's really passed along in families are high levels of decay-causing bacteria."