What does your dental legacy look like?

It’s not just our genetic inheritance that shapes us, but also our environment and how we were parented that shapes us for better or worse. Is there a history in your family of bad teeth, gum disease and poor health? Did your parents take you to regular check-ups as a child, and were your teeth healthy or did you need lots of fillings and go through traumatic times at the dentist?

The sum of our influences on how we view the importance of teeth and health can be called our ‘dental legacy’. Many times as parents, we wish to change aspects of how we were raised and make conscious decisions to do things differently.

A few questions to ask yourself when making decisions about your child’s dental future might be:

  1. How would you describe your own relationship with dental care?
  2. What key beliefs did your parents have about the importance of teeth and their relationship to general health?
  3. Are you proactive about preventing problems, or do you prefer to act only once there is a problem?
  4. Do you want to raise your child (in relation to dental health) the same way you were raised, or differently?

Having some insight into these types of factors gives us the ability to reflect on our own family history and then choose how we wish to have our children grow up viewing their own dental health. What dental legacy will you create for your child?