Parenting Styles to Prevent Tooth Decay

There are several traits that you can pass along to your kids. They can get your eyes, your hair color, and even the shape of your nose. But did you know that your positive behaviors can also be passed along to your little ones? The same can be said for your less-than-desirable behaviors as well. For example, a recent study found that children with parents who are supportive and have positive behaviors are less likely to experience tooth decay and cavities. According to a recent story from Fox News, researchers examined the parenting styles and child behavior of several parent/child groups who visited Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio for their first dental visit, and the results were pretty fascinating.

The study included 132 parent/child groups and all of the children were ages 3 to 6 years old. Parents were determined to be either “authoritative,” defined as providing both discipline and guidance while giving the child some freedom, or “permissive,”  or those who do not control their child’s decision and tend to ignore misbehavior. According to the study, researchers found 80% of children with authoritative parents had cavities, compared to 97% of children of permissive parents. Additionally, 93% of children of authoritative parents exhibited positive behavior, compared to 42% of children with permissive parents.

“A good parent who hopefully does the right things at home and is developing a child who’s respectful and careful and curious, but within limits, is the kind of parent who’s going to provide a child who’s relaxed and knows how to behave,” claims study author Dr. Paul Casamassimo, chief of dentistry at Nationwide Children’s. Researchers are further studying their hypothesis to find out if kids who visit a private practice dentist display similar findings. While there are as many opinions on the best parenting practices as there are parenting styles, it makes sense that parents who play active roles in guiding their children’s behaviors and habits have the most success in preventing tooth decay in the mouth’s of their babes. And if you’re cool, calm, and collected when visiting the dentist, chances are your kids will be too. You know what they say…apples usually don’t fall far from the tree.

Written by

Follow me on Twitter: