Many parents say things like “will she have bad teeth like mine?” or “will she need lots of fillings because I did?” There isn’t one simple answer for this, however there are a few factors to consider in regards to your dental health affecting your child’s. Give your child healthy teeth for life by setting good habits.

Genetics can play a role in the shape of your child’s face and jaw – therefore affecting how large or small their mouth is, their jaw positioning and structure, and often the shape of the teeth. For example if you have a square jaw and large, square teeth, it’s possible your child’s mouth will look similar. However, whether or not your child has healthy teeth, is not down to genetics, but is reliant on good habits.

Genetics do not determine whether or not your child will have healthy teeth, but your habits do! If you eat lots of lollies, fruits, sugary snacks and drink soft drink and juice very frequently and slack off with oral hygiene, it’s more than likely your child will do the same. This means your child will be more prone to acid wear and decay, and will not have healthy teeth.

The color and look of your children’s teeth does not necessarily reflect whether they have healthy teeth or not. Baby teeth are naturally very white. If your child’s adult teeth seem to be yellow, discolored or chalky, this is most likely just developmental and will improve over time. If you notice patches of white flecks, brown spots or grey discoloration, it’s important to have your child seen by a dentist to ensure they have healthy teeth.

If you follow a healthy diet, drink lots of water and brush your teeth thoroughly morning and night, it is likely your child will do the same, and have healthy teeth. Actual DNA and genetics don’t necessarily determine your child’s dental health, but your habits, views and routines definitely do.

If you have had bad dental experiences, needed lots of fillings and struggled with plaque and decay, make sure your child has an easier experience – by ensuring a healthy diet and good oral hygiene.