Stress is unhealthy at any level, and if you are a mom it might be hurting more than just you. A recent study conducted jointly by researchers at the University of Washington and King’s College in London found a connection between maternal stress and the number of cavities their children have. As if stressed-out moms needed something else to worry about, right?
- Data was collected from 716 U.S. mothers
- Their children were between the ages of 2 and 6
- Information was taken from the 1988–1994 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
- Biological markers of chronic stress known as allostatic load (AL) were used to identify mothers with high stress levels
- Children with mothers who had two or more of the AL markers were found to have more cavities than ones with mothers who didn’t
- Stress was also determined to be relative to socioeconomic status
- Mothers with lower income levels were less likely to breastfeed, feed their children breakfast daily and take their kids to dental visits
One of the most important things we can take away from this study is the dramatic impact lower socioeconomic status has on the health of a family. That’s why Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants has been proud to partner with organizations like Operation Dental Elf and Toys For Smiles.
When children’s teeth aren’t cared for properly it can lead to serious problems as their permanent teeth come in. Dental schools such as the one at UNLV periodically offer free dental screenings for children to give their students hands-on clinical experience.
One of the best and economical ways to keep children’s mouths healthy is to make sure they brush and floss everyday. Having a good oral hygiene routine at home can prevent damaging tooth decay and gum disease from harming their mouths. If you are unable to purchase oral hygiene necessities like toothbrushes for your children, contact your family dentist for a complimentary kit.