Correlation Between Decay and Poor Growth in Kids?

children dentist in newberg

Kids’ dental health is critical. Not only do daily brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist in Newberg, Oregon help guard against cavities– it sets kids up for a lifetime of good oral health. By learning proper oral hygiene techniques early in life, kids have the tools to take care of their smile when no one is around to remind them.

When we empower our kids with oral hygiene know-how by emphasizing optimal dental care at an early age– we ward off potential problems. The biggest, of course, is cavities– and kids who have cavities in their baby teeth are more likely to have cavities in their adult teeth. But there’s more. According to a study recently published in Pediatrics Journal, there may be a connection between childhood tooth decay and poor growth rate.

The latest findings

The study, a collaboration between University College London and King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital in Saudi Arabia, examined the relationship between height, weight, and dental decay in children ages six through eight living in Saudi Arabia. Tooth decay found was rated by the level of decay, or if repaired, the extensiveness of that repair. Social factors, like demographics, were factored in as well.

After analyzing the data, the researchers did in fact find a statistically significant number of children who had tooth decay that were also the average weight and height of their age group. While the scientists caution that this finding is one of the first in this area and more research needs to be done. If the research is correct, it does strongly suggest a relationship between tooth decay and growth in children.

Closer to home

The pediatric patients of Dr. McLeod, your dentist in Newberg, Oregon, have a lot of support from our team of dental health professionals– and they have families dedicated to their well being outside the office. Here are some great ways to involve your child in oral health care and start building those lifelong skills that will keep him or her smiling:

  • Brush your teeth all together as a family at least once a day– at least two minutes at a time. This fun and simple family tradition not only sets a healthy example for kids, but it makes for some great memories.
  • Read books together about dentistry, dentists, or visits to the clinic– there are lots of fun and funny books for kids of all ages out there!
  • For older kids, talk about the anatomy of the mouth. You may even learn something yourself! Questions you can research are: how many teeth are there? what are their names? when do they erupt (break through the gum-line)? how are cavities caused? The possibilities are endless.
  • Show your kids the proper brushing and flossing techniques, and if they’re younger, make sure you’re watching to make sure it’s done right. Tooth care takes practice, and sometimes innocent mistakes can lead to big problems– like cavities.
  • Follow healthy eating habits in your house. Limit sugar and snacking, eat plenty of fresh crunchy fruits and vegetables and avoid soda or “energy” drinks– kids already have enough energy!

Want some more suggestions? Ask us at your next appointment with Dr. McLeod, your dentist in Newberg, Oregon! We look forward to seeing you.

Photo Credit: ND Strupler via Compfight cc