Tag Archives: Health

Teeth Can Predict Future Mental Health of Children, Says Study

Archaeologists have used teeth since long to reveal information related to lifestyle, cause of death, and ancient civilizations. However, a recent study reported by the Daily Mail suggested that teeth can also give us information about the future. Researchers have found that teeth can predict the susceptibility to mental health disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression, in children.

The lost milk teeth of six-year-olds were scrutinized and it was found that children with thin enamel might be at the risk of developing attention deficient issues. Lead author, Dr. Erin Dunn, a psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, said that while a discovery like this could be commonplace for archaeologists, it is extraordinary in psychiatry as it opens the gate to an entirely new outlook for screening mental health disorders, which are on the rise.

Differences in dimension and teeth quality better predictors of mental health

Dr. Dunn stated that it was something they had never seen or thought of before. Her team comprised anthropologists, public health practitioners, and archaeologists and she presented her work at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAs) in Washington.

The researchers asked 37 parents from California to donate the teeth of their 6-year-olds when they fell off. Each tooth was examined using high resolution imaging. This analysis was later extrapolated to study the behavior of kids. Compared to other biomarkers that a psychiatrist would look for usually, teeth quality and differences in dimension were found to be better predictors of mental health.

Scientists across fields need to work together

Dr. Dunn shared that it was important that scientists across fields worked together as it would add more dimensions to a research. She added that scientists usually had a tendency to get isolated and worked with people from the same field. For example, psychiatrists worked only with psychiatrists and psychologists worked only with psychologists. People generally refrained from moving across disciplines or exploring other related facets in a research.

Dr. Dunn stated that this study is a proof of the fact that there is a need for more interdisciplinary science and how more efforts can provide one with the opportunities to view things from different angles which might be completely unexpected.

Warning signs of a mental illness in adolescents and teens

Sometimes, it can be really difficult to tell if a child or teen’s behavior is a normal part of growing up or something else. If the symptoms lasts for weeks or months, it warrants a visit to a healthcare professional. Some of the warning signs of a mental illness are:

  • Feeling extremely anxious and worried all the time
  • Throwing tantrums and getting irritable
  • Having frequent headaches, stomachaches and other unexplained aches
  • Trouble sleeping with frequent nightmares
  • Low or no energy
  • Avoiding friends
  • Smoking, drinking or using drugs
  • Engaging in self-harm and other risky behaviors
  • Losing interest in things used to enjoy previously
  • Having trouble doing well in school or sports

Road to recovery

Good mental health is important for the overall well-being of children as well as teens, as these are their growing years and they shape the future personality of the child. For many adults experiencing mental health problems, the symptoms were present when they were growing up but were undiagnosed or ignored. It is therefore, important that a mental health disorder is detected early and receives timely diagnosis.

Dental Tips for Children’s Oral Health

While oral sickness is easy to prevent, there are still lots of children that get tooth decay. Such kids often experience pain, find it hard to sleep, and at times, undergo major dental treatments – like tooth extraction with general anesthesia.

When a child gets cavities at a much younger age, it can be assumed that he/she will also develop cavities when his permanent teeth develop. For this reason, it is crucial for kids to have good oral hygiene habits when they are still very young.

Eat the Right Foods

Children should eat a variety of nutritious foods, especially in childhood when they are still going through the developing years. This is the time when their eating behavior is established. It is critical to encourage kids to have healthy eating habits that can lead to good oral health and welfare.

Provide children with different nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, natural yogurt and meat.

  • Refrain from giving them snacks in between meals, since it is the most vulnerable age, when they could acquire cavities.
  • Encourage them to drink lots of water (from at minimum of 1 liter/day to a maximum of 2 liters/day), particularly if you stay within an area with fluoride, to protect teeth from cavities.
  • Try your best to reduce your child’s intake of sugary drinks like sodas, energy drinks, fruit juices and syrups, since these sweet drinks can cause tooth decay.
  • Reduce their consumption of sweet drinks, particular in between meals.

Brush your teeth properly.

Brushing teeth using a proper technique is a must for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. Observing good oral hygiene at a much early age reduces the risk of acquiring gum disease at a later age. Teach them to brush their teeth at least twice daily – in the morning and in the evening, as well as after eating meals.

  • It is recommended for infants to use a soft toothbrush, and for children 18 months to 6 years to use toothpaste (in a pea-sized amount) with less fluoride.
  • Supervise your child (up to 7 years old) whenever he/she brushes his/her teeth.
  • Instead of rinsing the toothpaste, encourage your child to spit it out.

Observe Safety while Playing

Whenever your child plays contact sports like cricket, football or hockey, when their mouth is more prone to injury, he should use a mouth guard during games and workout. A mouth guard is often worn when playing sports, while other activities also require a face guard or helmet.

Practice Healthy Habits at an Early Age

It would benefit children to develop healthy habits early in life. Habits such as brushing teeth regularly, eating a nutritious diet and visiting a dentist regularly allow them to maintain good oral health. The moment the first tooth of your child appears until 1 year old, he/she should have oral health checked. Based on a child’s oral health, the dentist/pediatrician will recommend when to visit the dental clinic.

  • Whenever there is any dental problem, go immediately to the dentist to have it checked.
  • Make dental visits a part of your child’s normal routine.
  • Make a dental appointment early in the day, when your child is not yet tired.

Children’s Health – When Does Childhood Obesity Start?

Childhood obesity is a condition that afflicts the young in society, and can cause extreme health problems when cases are severe enough. Childhood obesity is the condition of a child having too much body fat, meaning their organs are working harder to do anything such as pump blood around their body, making them tire easily and generally feel unwell. There are many supposed causes of childhood obesity but the results are always the same, children suffering from obesity develop serious health problems later in life that affect their lives and the lives of those around them.

The most common cause of obesity in children is obesity in their parents. According to studies, having obese parents sets out being overweight as normal for children, meaning anyone smaller than their parents is abnormal, which is an easy concept to grasp. There are children with obese parents who are not themselves obese, and this can be just as common, although it is more common for parents of a standard height and weight to have children who aren’t obese.

The growing advancements in technology have been found to be contributing to the rate of childhood obesity as well. With more and more games consoles being released, children have little chance of ever getting outside if they want to stay on top of what’s popular and play the latest games. Parents must factor in the increasing number of games consoles and the games for them, or they’ll end up with children who sit in their room all day, every day and do nothing but play video games and suck all of the electricity out of the house in the process.

Any child that develops obesity will have been influenced somewhere to do something or be a certain way that has attributed to their weight problem. As already discussed, having overweight parents is a huge factor influencing whether a child will be obese, and so is whether or not they have access to the latest technology. These are factors within a parent’s control, and so is the amount of exercise a child receives on a daily basis.

Making the effort to take children outdoors or to somewhere they can play like an indoor play centre is imperative to help prevent childhood obesity. When parents don’t put the time in to care for their children, they won’t ever be able to say they have no idea why a child is obese, and why they haven’t been getting the exercise essential to their health.