Mother’s Emotional Health and Child’s Dental Health
The bond between mother and child may be even stronger than thought. A recent study pointed out that the oral health of children may be tied to the emotional well-being of their mothers.
Researchers examined 224 teenagers. It reviewed their health and medical information at ages 14, 8, and 3. The oral health of the teenagers was examined by assessing the amount of oral plaque and the number of decayed, filled and missing permanent teeth they had. The mothers were asked to fill out information regarding prevention measures, access to dental care and frequency of dental visits for their children.
The study found that the oral health of the teenagers was related to the emotional health, education level and knowledge of their mothers when the children were aged 3 and 8. If the mothers struggled with any of these three factors, the oral health of the children suffered, as by age 14, they had significantly more dental issues. Access to dental care did not change these findings. Teenagers were healthier overall when their mothers were healthy emotionally, had more than a high school diploma, and were knowledgeable about health and healthy eating.
These findings suggest that mothers should take care of their health, both emotionally and overall, so that they can help their children. The children should be taught healthy habits, including good oral hygiene habits. Specifically, children should be taught to brush their teeth each morning and before bed and to floss every day. Mothers should also take their children to a pediatric dentist for a professional dental cleaning and oral exam every six months.
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