It’s all in the genes when it comes to many traits and characteristics inherited from parent to child. In some ways, the same can be said for our smiles. At my Chapel Hill dental office, we were curious to know if children are more likely to inherit the same dental problems as their parents and how DNA influences dental health. Let’s find out.
Blame it on the DNA
Several dental problems can be passed down from parent to child through DNA including:
- The size and shape of the mouth, which could result in a bad bite and TMJ pain
- Teeth alignment including gaps, crookedness, and overcrowding
- Oral cancer risk
- Cleft palates
Knowing your family’s medical history and what diseases tend to be more prominent is a great first step in being able to detect and treat problems early. Make sure you share this information with your dentist.
Nature vs. Nurture
Don’t place all the blame on genetics when it comes to dental dilemmas. Discoloration, cavities, and even gum disease are nurtured behaviors — not natural genetic traits. Think of the copycat syndrome where kids learn by doing. By making brushing, flossing, and checkups fun for children, they’re more likely to maintain these good habits in the future. This leads to better oral and overall health, and can provide an added defense against what nature may inherently have in the cards. Remember: decay and gum disease aren’t a result of DNA, but neglecting everyday hygiene habits.
Get on Track
Start on the path to better health immediately and increase not only your chances of improved oral health, but also help the little ones who look up to you too. It’s as simple as daily brushing and flossing, watching your diet, and being tobacco-free. Keeping regularly scheduled appointments with your Chapel Hill dentist for both you and your kids, every six months is also crucial.
If you’re looking for dentist, give my dental office in Chapel Hill a call and schedule an appointment. We’ll talk about your current oral health and work together to find a plan that will get your smile healthy, beautiful, and vibrant.
Accepting new patients from Chapel Hill, Durham, Pittsboro.