How Talking To Your Kids About Dental Health Can Combat Obesity

How Talking to Our Kids About Dental Health Can Combat Obesity

A recent study from Gothenburg University of Sweden has identified a potential link between dental health and obesity in children that may help you talk to your children about eating habits. The study conducted by Gothenburg University looked at bacteria found in children’s mouths. The children who participated in the research ranged in age from preschool to primary school. The data collected included measurements such as body mass index calculations and food intake throughout the day that was then compared to the presence of cariogenic (decay-causing) bacteria in the mouth.

When the scientists at Gothenburg University compared the test results, they found that the children with higher levels of cariogenic bacteria in their mouths were not only higher on the body mass index chart, but that their food-intake consisted of foods high in sugar. While this study did not demonstrate a direct cause-and-effect between BMI in children and dental health, it is true that when children or adults consume foods high in sugar, there is an increase in the presence of oral bacteria. When a large amount of bacteria exists, cavities can form, and the bacteria can have other negative effects on our overall and dental health as well.

The study brings to light a potentially positive way to speak to your children about their eating habits to emphasize the importance it has on maintaining their oral hygiene without focusing on their weight. Eating a healthy diet that’s low in sugar can impact your child’s physical, mental and dental health all at once.

Are you talking to your child about the benefits of eating healthy? Talking to our children about proper dental health can reduce their risk of obesity. The importance of regular dental screenings and proper diet are a great thing to teach your kids! In addition to eating well and exercising, patients should schedule an appointment with their Peninsula Family Dental Center dentist for a dental check-up. Your dentist will check for cavities and the presence of bacteria to keep your smile healthy and to reduce other potential health impacts.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/10/15) Direct Relief (Flickr)