Mother’s Emotional Health Linked to Child’s Oral Health

Mother’s Emotional Health Linked to Child’s Oral Health

Dental health has long been associated with overall health, but new research reveals that emotional health may also correlate with dental health. A study performed at Case Western Reserve Universityís School of Dental Medicine assessed the dental health of more than 200 teens.

The longitudinal study followed children from the age of three and collected information regarding birth weight, health and medical information about the children and health and other information from the others. Mothers were asked to provide information regarding access to dental care, frequency of dental visits and other preventative measures. The teens oral health was evaluated, and the amount of dental plaque, decayed, restored and missing teeth were all noted.

Researchers determined that a teens dental health may be closely connected to his or her mothers emotional health and educational levels. Even children with access to good dental care and regular treatment were more likely to suffer from dental health problems if their mothers experienced poor emotional health. Teens whose mothers had education beyond high school, enjoyed good emotional health and had more knowledge about nutrition and a healthier lifestyle were more likely to have teens with good dental and overall health.

Parents lead by example, and their knowledge and ability to put that knowledge into practice can be critical for their children's health. Talking to your children about their dental health may not be enough. Good nutrition, regular exercise and good dental hygiene habits can help your kids grow up with healthy, strong smiles and bodies.

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