How early life experiences shape your teeth forever

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Dental diseases are the most common chronic diseases worldwide. Healthy teeth are vital for quality of life, particularly diet and nutrition. So far, however, little is known about potentially long-lasting influences of early-life conditions.
Stefan Listl, Professor Quality and Safety of Oral Health Care, and researchers from Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom has now investigated the relation between early-life socioeconomic conditions and the number of natural teeth at age 50 and above. Based on large-scale multi-national data from 15 countries, the findings highlight the relevance of childhood socioeconomic conditions for tooth retention into older adulthood and emphasize the need for policy makers to focus on early-life circumstances as well as their importance for maintaining good oral health throughout the entire life course.

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