Having greater access to information like the psychology of child-rearing isn’t always a good thing. For one, it can make it pretty easy to blame our parents for just about everything. Not good at making friends? Maybe your parents didn’t teach you to socialize. Convinced the world owes you something? Maybe your parents spoiled you as a child.

Millennials especially can find these thoughts comforting, but who could blame them? When article after article complain about their need for “participation trophies,” it’s pretty easy to flip the accusation towards the ones who gave them the “participation trophies”: their parents and the rest of the boomer generation. Now whether or not parents are to blame for far-reaching emotional issues that millennials are facing today, there may be one thing we can’t blame our parents for, and that’s our oral health.

A Multi-Generation Family Walking In Countryside Against Flaring Sun. While they are all worried about their oral health, Genes Don't Control Cavity Risk.

Genetic Makeup May Have Little Impact on Dental Health

Produced out of the University of Melbourne, and published in Pediatrics, a new study has found that genetic makeup does not predispose people to tooth decay. The study followed the teeth of 173 sets of twins, both identical and non-identical, from pregnancy through the age of six. What the study was looking for were risk factors such as illness and lifestyle, and the results were very interesting.

The study found that identical twins varied in tooth decay as much as non-identical twins. Researchers hypothesized this to mean that environmental factors like fluoride in water and oral hygiene, seem to be the prime cause of tooth decay. Not genetic makeup. One relationship they did find, however, was that between maternal obesity and child tooth decay, which seemed to increase a child’s risk.

What’s most important about this study is how it reinforces the relationship between oral hygiene and avoiding tooth decay. Both parents and doctors should educate children early in order to help them form lifetime habits to limit oral health complications in the future.

Preventing Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

According to the paper, nearly one in three Australian children have tooth decay by the time they begin school. A similar CDC studied, estimates that half of adults over the age of thirty, suffer from gum disease of varying severity. With other pressures involved in living a full life, sometimes maintaining oral hygiene habits can be difficult, but the data is clear.

Brushing and flossing twice a day can help you to fight off tooth decay and gum disease. Same with visiting your dentist twice a year for a check-up and cleaning.

If you’re behind on your bi-annual checkup, it’s time to schedule an appointment. This can help you stay on top of your oral health and keep complications from sneaking up on you. Remember that gum disease can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Keeping your mouth healthy is intimately tied to keeping your body healthy.

If you are looking for gum disease treatment in midtown Manhattan, please call 212-557-8668 today for an appointment with Dr. Karthilde Appolon at Appolon Dental Group in Columbus Circle.