Link between Mother and Child’s Oral Health
Fascinating research published in the Journal of Dental Research has demonstrated one of the biggest factors in determining the oral health of teenagers: the education level and the emotional well-being of their mother when they were younger.
The researchers from Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dental Medicine conducted a long-term study of 224 kids. To determine the oral health of the children, they counted the number of fillings, decayed or missing teeth and measured the level of plaque on them. This was done on the children when they were 14 years old.
From there, the researchers looked back at the medical histories of the children and of the mothers. The mothers were also asked to fill out a questionnaire about their educational history and more.
What the study revealed was surprising. The oral health of the children at the age of fourteen was profoundly effected by the emotional health and stability of the mother when the child was between the ages of three and eight. Also highly influencing the child’s oral health was the education level of the mother, pointing to knowledge about how to eat a healthy diet.
The study underscores the importance of caregivers taking care of themselves as a primary need to ensure the overall and oral health of their children. Not unlike instructions on an airplane telling passengers to put an oxygen mask on themselves first before putting them on any children traveling with them, parents and caregivers need to take care of their emotional health to more adequately care for their kid’s in unexpected ways, including perhaps the frequency at which they get a dental cleaning and brush their teeth.
Back to Blog