Family History and Your Oral Health
You might have heard that you have your father’s eyes or your grandmother’s sense of humor. Maybe you know what diseases or medical concerns run in your family. But do you know what dental conditions are in your genes?
It’s true that genetics can affect dental health, but if you see bad teeth in your family, don’t feel doomed to a similar fate!
Family history can indicate a predisposition for good or bad dental health. Certain people may be more susceptible to getting gum disease or cavities. Others may have poorly aligned teeth that are difficult to clean enough to sufficiently prevent decay. Or maybe a lack of good hygiene habits was passed down by parents who simply did not prioritize dental health in their own lives.
The good news — yes, even if you’ve seen some red flags in your family — is that you have more control over your dental health than you might think. In addition to regular dental hygiene visits, your own at-home cleaning routine can potentially stave off even the worst of what you see in your family. Daily brushing and flossing with the right tools is the cornerstone of prevention.
Additionally, you may choose to — or your dentist may recommend that you — make some supplemental changes in your lifestyle to support your dental care.
Sugar is one of the most damaging foods for your teeth, so reducing your sugar intake or cutting it entirely can make a huge difference. Smoking also harms teeth, not to mention all the other health problems it causes, so quitting smoking is a good decision all around. And finally, making it easier to clean in between and around your teeth by straightening them can turn a potential dental fight around.
Whatever family history you come from, it’s important that you talk to your dentist about it. We can help you craft a custom dental health plan around the specifics in your history and daily life so you can have the best teeth at your future family gatherings.