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Can Children Inherit Their Parents’ Oral Health Problems?

added on: July 28, 2022
My Rivertown Dentist in Madison

Helping your child protect their oral health is one of the most important steps you can take as a parent. After all, good oral health is an essential part of living an overall healthy life. If you have experienced dental concerns, such as cavities or gum disease, you may wonder if your child will inherit the same dental conditions. Here’s what you should know about how genetics can play a role in a child’s oral health and what steps you can take to protect your little one’s smile for years to come.

Do Bad Teeth Run in Families?

No one wants their child to develop the same oral health conditions that they’ve struggled with, but chances are that it’s common for family members to have similar dental concerns. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), a person’s genes could make them more likely to develop certain conditions, such as gum disease and oral cancer, but there is currently no genetic test available to prove this connection.

While dental issues can sometimes occur even when a person practices excellent oral health habits, which could indicate that genetics are to blame, the truth is that most oral health problems result from lifestyle factors rather than their inherited genes. This means that while it may seem like bad teeth are an inevitable trait that is passed down from one generation to the next in some families, it’s more likely that people who live together share the same bad habits, such as making poor dietary choices or not cleaning their teeth thoroughly. 

Tips to Protect Your Child’s Oral Health

The good news is that most oral health problems are preventable. By incorporating good dental habits into your family’s daily routine, your child will learn skills to protect the well-being of their smile that will last a lifetime. Keep these tips in mind to ensure your child’s teeth and gums stay in tip-top shape for years to come:

  • Teach your child how to properly care for their teeth: From the time your little one’s first tooth pops through, you can begin teaching them how to care for their smile by helping them brush twice a day.
  • Set a good example: Let your child see you prioritize your own oral health by brushing your teeth with them.
  • Make good dietary choices: The foods your family consumes can play a big role in the health of their smiles. With this in mind, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and limit your consumption of sweets.
  • Visit the dentist twice a year: Routine dental exams and professional cleanings are a critical part of protecting your child’s smile. The earlier you begin taking them to their six-month dental checkups, the better. 
  • Don’t wait to seek treatment: If you notice anything unusual about your child’s teeth, don’t hesitate to schedule a dental appointment. Early diagnosis can often lead to a smoother, faster, more affordable treatment plan. 

Protect Your Child’s Smile at My Rivertown Dentist

Keeping your child’s smile healthy and beautiful shouldn’t be complicated. At My Rivertown Dentist in Madison, WI, Dr. Ashley Lee and her compassionate team are committed to providing exceptional dental care for everyone in your family. Whether it’s time for your child’s first dental visit, they’re due for their bi-annual checkup, or they’re in need of a particular dental treatment, we are eager to show you how comfortable and convenient caring for your child’s oral health can be. Contact us today to learn more about our modern dental services and to schedule your child’s next appointment. We can’t wait to give your entire family a reason to smile bright!