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According to a new study, children are more likely to visit the dentist if their parents receive dental care on a regular basis.
Inyang Isong, from the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, and her colleagues surveyed over 6,100 pairs of parents and children. Among parents who had visited a dentist over the past year, 86 percent of their children had also received dental care.
Conversely, only 64 percent of children of parents with no recent dental activity had been to the dentist in the last year.
"When parents don't see the dentist, their children are much less likely to see the dentist," said Isong. "We also found that the children of parents who have put off their own dental care for financial reasons are more likely to have their care deferred due to cost as well."
The researchers also noted that tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases, especially among low-income and minority children.
A dentist can help prevent or reduce the incidence of decay by applying sealants to children's teeth. Sealants protect normal depressions and grooves in the teeth called pits and fissures, which are particularly susceptible to tooth decay.
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