Birth A Kid, Lose A Tooth

If you’re planning on having children, please promise that you’ll continue to brush your teeth and visit your dentist twice a year. Researchers at NYU and Yale examined data on 2,635 U.S. women, and they found that across all socioeconomic groups, women with children had fewer teeth than women without children. Among those in the lowest socioeconomic group, the women with no children on average were missing two teeth, while those with one child were missing an average of three teeth. Women with four or more children were missing more than eight teeth! (If this were consistently true, Michelle Duggar would be toothless.)

One of the possible explanations is that women are more prone to gingivitis during pregnancy, which, left untreated, can lead to serious gum disease and tooth loss. Also, one of the study’s authors noted that women might be trying to avoid dental X-rays while they’re carrying a baby inside of them. (Lying in a dentists chair when you’re pregnant sounds incredibly uncomfortable, BTW.) Additionally, women with multiple children might forgo their own dental care due to lack of money or time. [Reuters]