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Focusing on Dental Health To Prevent Overweight

A new thesis suggests that focusing on dental health can help prevent children from becoming overweight.

Recent research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden suggests that by guiding your children to follow good oral hygiene practices, you will be preventing them from becoming overweight in addition to protecting their teeth. Louise Arvidsson, a registered dietitian and PhD student, led a study in which eating behaviour, dental health and BMIs of 271 pre-school and primary school children in Sweden were reviewed. The children’s food intake in a day, height, and weight were compared with the presence of cavity-causing bacteria. Her study proved the link between poor dental health and increased body weight.

The children with higher body mass index (BMI) and poor eating habits had a higher number of caries-causing bacteria on their teeth. Secondly, it also showed that children who ate more frequently and ate sugary food had a higher level of caries-causing bacteria and were overweight. The research further suggested that to make children aware at an early age about the risk of becoming obese through poor oral hygiene requires a properly working collaboration between dental health workers and the education sector. The study also advised that placing water dispensers in cafeterias can be helpful for children’s oral hygiene as well as a balanced diet regimen.

Stopping children from eating and warning them about being overweight could prove to be counter-productive. However, conveying to children that good oral hygiene helps weight management is likely to be readily accepted by them. Different strategies or techniques are required to make children follow good oral hygiene readily.

The dentists from our dental clinic in Parramatta advise that apart from regular brushing and flossing, it is also important for children to consume a good proportion of vegetables and fruits each day for dental health. They should be making it a habit to eat fruits in place of sugary products, and foods containing calcium, protein and other nutrients to achieve good dental health. Children should restrict the intake of sweet and sticky beverages as well. Furthermore, it goes without saying that parents following good oral hygiene and eating habits at home are in good positions to instil the same patterns in their children since children do as we do. These suggestions will help in maintaining good dental health and will also help to prevent a child from becoming overweight.

Good dental health can provide your child with a beautiful smile and a healthy body, and thereby increase the child’s self-esteem and improve their interpersonal relationships.

 

Want to bring your child in for a professional check up? Ring our Parramatta dentists on 800 400 55 and our friendly team will be more than happy to accommodate you.

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