New research suggests that adolescents who prefer to stay up late are at a significantly higher risk if tooth decay.
The study found that teenagers who stay up later are almost four times as likely to suffer from tooth decay than those who like to get their heads down early. Researchers believe the increased risk is due to night owls neglecting to brush their teeth regularly before bed and frequently skipping breakfast which leads to snacking throughout the day.
Dr. Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation said: “ If you tend to fall asleep before your children evidence suggests there is real danger that they are not brushing their teeth regularly or properly.”
“ Combined with the resulting lie-in and subsequently skipping breakfast, is a real recipe for disaster when it comes to their oral health and a hugely increased risk of developing tooth decay.
“Problems in the mouth can affect the way our children communicate, their relationships, development and also their wider general health, so it’s vital that they prioritise their oral health.”
The researcher concludes that a patient’s circadian rhythm should be considered when planning oral health education for adolescents with high risk of caries.
The study was published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene in August.
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