Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Connection between Oral Health and Childhood Obesity

Most of us would have heard about the connection between oral and overall health. If we take care of our oral health, it will have positive effects on our overall health. It’s true for both adults and children.

Nevertheless, a newer study by a Swedish academy suggests that there is a strong connection between oral health and childhood obesity.

Prevent or get rid of childhood obesity by focusing on oral health
Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden carried out a study. Based on its conclusion, the researchers encouraged discussions about oral and dental health with parents as well as with children. The main purpose is to tell them how good it is to maintain oral health and how bad it can be for oral and overall health if you are not following your dentist’s instructions.

During the study, about 270 children were analyzed. Their height, weight and food intake over a course of day were measured. The status of cariogenic micro-organisms in their saliva was also checked. Based on the study, the researchers concluded:

The children who had higher amount of caries bacteria also had significantly higher BMI and worse eating habits. They ate more frequently and consumed more foods rich in sugar,

It is always helpful teaching kids about healthy eating habits
According to Arvidsson, who supervised the study, parents mainly need to talk more about oral health with their children rather than telling them about the overall health. The reason is that all it takes for the children to remain healthy is to convince them about eating healthy food. Arvidsson said, “Weight can be a sensitive subject, but if you talk about eating behaviors alongside dental health, you’re looking at the issue from a different angle. There is absolutely a possibility to catch these children and talk about food habits… but this needs a good level of collaboration between general dentistry, the child health care and schools.

One thing worth mentioning here is that children are not usually fully conscious about the way they look, i.e. the fitness level and the weight they would gain. However, dental cleanliness and the possibility of bad breath really make them get up and brush their teeth. Here, you can relate healthy food intake with the dental health while discussing things with children.

Make sure there is collaboration
Remember, children face manifold risks of carries and cavities. You may believe that children are going to get newer set of teeth after a few years but you also have to keep it in mind that the health of their initial teeth has huge impact on the health of their adult teeth. Furthermore, if you take care of the dental health of your children, you can ensure prevention of childhood obesity which is just a symptom of bigger health conditions in the body.

In the end, make sure that you take your children to regular dental visits. This dental visit can fill the gaps which you might not be able to fill when it comes to caring for your children’s oral health.

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