Believe it or Not: Underweight Children Have Higher Tooth Decay Risk?

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Yes, it is true.

The study made at Malmö University examined the dental health of more than 900 five-year olds in central Skåne through records from child health and public dental clinics.

One reason cited by the researchers as to why underweight children are at a high risk for tooth decay can be due to parental concerns about their child’s weight development. As a consequence, they allow their children to eat what they want at irregular hours, resulting in the diet that contains more sugar.

Previous studies have shown that overweight children have an increased risk of tooth decay, but in the current study, the scientists did not see the link.

According to Lars Matsson, professor of paedodontics at the Faculty of Odontology at the university, the research results were surprising. The study was initially undertaken to examine overweight children, but it was the underweight children who turned out to have the most tooth decay.

“We have found a risk group that we did not recognise before,” said Matsson. “In dental care, we must be more attentive to these children, examine them carefully and inform parents so they can give them a good and healthy diet. Child care centres must also pay attention and help these children.”

Kind of counter-intuitive but when you think about it, poor nutrition with high sugar content happens with underweight children as well as the obese.

Just remember. children should have a balanced diet, regular dental care and cut back on the sugars and refined carbohydrates for better dental health.