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Published on September 5, 2016

‘Night owl’ teenagers risk tooth decay

‘Night owl’ teenagers risk tooth decay

New research suggests that adolescents who prefer to stay up late at night are at a significantly higher risk of tooth decay.

The study, published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, has found that teenagers who stay up late are up to almost four times more likely to suffer from tooth decay than those who like to go to bed early.

In total, 196 15 and 16-year olds completed a questionnaire, which included questions on their circadian rhythm, dietary and oral self-care habits.

Researchers found a link between the ‘night owl’ behaviour patterns and failing to brush teeth before bedtime, frequently skipping breakfast (which in turn could lead to more snacking throughout the day).

They concluded that a patient’s circadian rhythm should be considered when planning oral health education for adolescents with a high risk of caries.

What are your thoughts? Should a special educational program, aimed at teenage night-owls, be compiled?

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