A mother’s emotional health and education level will eventually affect her child’s oral health.
A new study from Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dental Medicine makes this claim.
The research team analyzed the oral health of 224 adolescents and looked back at their oral health history since they were 3. The mothers were interviewed for the study but the study basically refers to the primary caregiver for the child.
The researchers looked at the health information of the children when the children were 3, 8 and 14. They took into account the amount of decayed teeth, and the number of fillings and missing permanent teeth the children had. They also analyzed the amount of dental plaque each of the children had.
The mothers then answered a questionnaire regarding the treatments from sealants and mouthwashes. In addition, the mothers answered questions about sugar consumption and their child’s access to dental care and how often the child visited the dentist.
The conclusion was that even with access to dental care, fluoride treatment and sealants, cavities weren’t always preventable. The study looked for other factors, and the answers seem to come from the mother and her emotional health, education level and knowledge. A deficiency in any of those areas had a negative impact on the child’s oral health.
Mothers with the most education, healthy emotional states and the proper amount of knowledge had children with the best oral health.
Support for the study came from the National Institute of Health’s Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Program.