Mothers Stress, Kids Get Cavities
This study looked at the health records of 716 American mothers and their children, aged 2-6. They found that the more stress the mothers experienced, the more cavities the children had. The study didn’t look at maternal stress directly. It looked at markers of stress that are more easily seen in health records, such as tooth wear-and-tear from stress-related bruxism, levels of blood fats, blood pressure, blood sugar, and waist circumference.
They then correlated this data against the cavity incidence of children, and found that women who had two or more stress-related factors had children who were more likely to develop cavities.
The Family That Eats Together
The study doesn’t highlight the fact that many of these “stress” factors could also be related to diet. When we start talking about diet, of course, we are also talking about something that affects the entire family as well. Parental dining habits have a big impact on what and how kids choose to eat. Choices such as what to snack on and when are influenced by what their parents do, what foods parents have around, and, of course, on house rules surrounding food habits.
Since diet is one of the major impacts on oral decay, this means that parental eating habits probably have a significant impact on oral health among children.
A Family Dentist Is a Dentist That Knows Your Family
These impacts highlight the benefit of having a dentist who can see the whole picture. When we see every member of your family, we can see the connection between the oral health of everyone in the family, allowing us to make recommendations that go beyond the simple, “brush and floss more,” that people get tired of hearing from dentists. Instead, we can talk about how diet, lifestyle, and other factors can contribute to the good oral health of all members of the family.