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Dental Health Of Teenagers Depends On Their Mom’s Emotional Health

dental health of teenagersAll moms pay a lot of attention to their kids’ health. They watch very carefully for the signs of various diseases and possible health problems, and as soon as they see something suspicious, they try to consult a specialist and do everything possible to prevent their kids from being sick. The same can be said about dental health of teenagers or young children, and moms are always asking their kids about how they feel when brushing or chewing foods. It is interesting that there are certain links between mom’s emotional health or her educational level and dental health of her teenage children. Those are the findings of a recent study by a group of American researchers published in August 2012 in some online media.

Scientists at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, carried out an extensive analysis of dental health information on about 224 adults collected for many years, since the times the participants were teenagers. The main objective of the study was to find out the factors influence dental health of teenagers the most, and the experts used available data collected in a long-term perspective in order to rule out other possible issues. The participants’ life, habits or life experiences were traced even back to their early childhood, including the information about  being born as a normal birth weight baby, or the one with too low birth weight.

At that, dental health of teenagers was analyzed by monitoring the number of decayed teeth, missing teeth or tooth fillings, as well as evaluated the levels of dental plague. 14 was chosen to be the basic age for scientific evaluations. The researchers found out that even in cases of dental insurance availability, special fluoride treatments and plenty of other preventive measures, a great deal of children below 14 could not prevent tooth decay and cavities by that age. The experts are convinced that bad eating habits, availability of plenty of sugary drinks and sweet treats, along with failure of the kids’ parents develop proper dental care habits and make their children understand the importance of daily dental care.

Fortunately, years ago moms of the teenagers were also asked to fill in questionnaires, not only about dental habits and oral health attitude in the family, frequency of dental visits, and so on, but also about other aspects of their life. Therefore, the scientists used statistical modelling tools to do extensive analysis and tried to correlate dental health of teenagers with various factors related to their mom’s life. It turned out that such two factors as emotional health and educational levels of the moms played the most significant role, and if moms are struggling in these two areas, this in most cases led to very high risks of having dental problems in teenage kids.

The findings were recently published in the Journal of Dental Research as report entitled as  Early Maternal Psychosocial Factors are Predictors for Adolescent Caries. According to Suchitra Nelson, one of the study leaders and the author of the report, the findings have obvious practical importance. “We can’t ignore the environments of these children. It isn’t enough to tell children to brush and floss, they need more – and particularly from their caregivers,” she said. She also said that moms with high education, with healthy emotional life and good knowledge of proper eating habits had teenage children with the healthiest teeth.

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