We inherit a lot from our parents, such as our looks and vulnerabilities to certain health issues. Research has shown our dental health is a product of our heritage as well. Not only that, but people with severe dental anxiety may cause their children feel anxious about dentists, as well. Your West Des Moines dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, explains the role genetics plays in our dental health and how to protect your smile.
Do you fear dentist visits? While a checkup is a gentle and routine procedure, many people have dental anxiety. This causes patients to avoid receiving the dental care necessary to ensure healthy teeth and gums, as well as prevent the onset of tooth decay and gum disease.
So, why do so many people fear the dentist? Like your looks, you may have also had your parents’ dental fears passed down to you. Researchers at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid recently completed a study showing the effect parents, especially fathers, have on children’s fear of the dentist.
An author of the study, Lara Sacido, was quoted as saying: “With regard to assistance in the dental clinic, the work with parents is key. They should appear relaxed as a way of directly ensuring the child is relaxed too.”
Inheriting Your Mom and Dad’s Smile
How susceptible you are to tooth decay and gum disease is simple genetics. Even with proper dental hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly, certain patients remain prone to cavities. Studies show that if a patient’s parents were particularly vulnerable to cavities or periodontal disease, your risk increases as well.
Keep Your Smile Young
Just because some patients are prone to developing specific dental problems, doesn’t mean there is nothing they can do. Preventive dentistry, including brushing twice a day, flossing at least once, and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash will help fight bacteria that leads to enamel erosion, and eventually tooth decay and gum disease. Regular checkups allow Dr. Johnson to watch for the early warning signs of these disorders, and prescribe necessary treatment. While you may look like your parents, this doesn’t mean your smile has to.
Schedule an Appointment with Your West Des Moines Dentist
Don’t forget to attend your regular checkups with Dr. Johnson. Come visit our 50266 dental office for a checkup or cleaning. To make an appointment, call (515) 223-9764. We serve patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and nearby Des Moines metro communities.