Are Bad Teeth Genetic?

Dentists in NE Calgary are often asked if ‘bad teeth’ are inherited just like hair color and height.  Genetics certainly influence the shape and size of a person’s mouth and jaw – as its part of the skeletal system that is influenced by genetic markers.  But whether your child displays your crooked front teeth or tendency to develop cavities doesn’t boil down to only genetics – as it is impacted by environmental, dietary, and oral habits that can sometimes play a far more significant role in how healthy teeth are, and if jaw deficiencies develop.

General Dentists at Discover Dental in NE Calgary explain that there isn’t one simple answer as there are many factors at play in determining if a child’s smile will replicate a parent’s.  The shape of your jaw and size of teeth may be inherited by your child – it’s common to see children exhibit the same ‘big square teeth’ that their Mother has, or the same narrow jaw.  But just because a parent has lived with crooked teeth due to a deficient jaw it doesn’t mean that their children will.  Early orthodontic treatment that involves the use of arch expanders can easily create more space to accommodate adult teeth – and certain appliances can also be used to promote correct jaw and arch development.

NE Calgary Dentists clarify that a child’s tendency to develop dental decay is not genetically inherited, but more habit and diet inherited.  If parents aren’t setting a good example of brushing and flossing daily – and avoiding sugar laden foods – then the risk of children being prone to decay heightens, not due to any genetic factor but from inheriting diet and oral habits.  Unless the child was exposed to certain drugs in vitro, the chance of having ‘weak dental enamel’ is rare – and most rampant decay cases are a result of poor home care (brushing and flossing) and poor diet choices.

If you have concerns regarding the development of your child’s teeth and jaw call Discover Dental today – these NE Calgary Dentists welcome patients’ enquiries and are accepting New Patients to their practice.  403.285.0222


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