Dental Problems in Childhood and Adulthood
Dental problems that affect children can unfortunately have lasting consequences into adulthood. A new study is currently being developed by the University of Queensland’s Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, where researchers will be evaluating volunteers between the ages of two and 10. The study will determine if children with dental problems are more vulnerable to chronic illnesses and obesity. Their primary focus will be on those who were born early. Premature children have been known to struggle more with feeding and have more dental problems in comparison to full-term children. They are also at a higher risk of health problems, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, 17 percent of all adults have to limit their diet as a result of current dental problems. Children who have undiagnosed or untreated dental problems may limit their diets, as well. Dental issues, such as untreated cavities or lost teeth, can make it hard to eat fibrous fruits, vegetables or meats needed in keeping a healthy general diet and dental diet. Patients may instead turn to highly processed foods that are easier to chew. While this enables them to feel fuller, the foods may lack critical nutrients that support body and dental health. Highly processed foods not only lack nutrients, but they can also stick to teeth and feed oral bacteria. This can increase the risk for even more current and future dental problems. Finally, a diet of primarily processed foods is closely linked to obesity, which can also make dental and chronic health problems more likely.
Helping your child establish good dental habits early in life may not only lead to a healthier, more attractive smile, but it may also protect his or her long-term health. Call us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist.
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