A recent Australian study of 173 twins (identical and fraternal) showed that genetics didn’t play a role in determining dental health. The two factors that increased childhood tooth decay: lack of fluoride in the water and whether the mother was obese during pregnancy. As you might expect, those children who drank fluoridated water developed significantly fewer cavities. Those children that had overweight mothers had an increase chance of tooth decay. Researchers theorize that some biological factors may influence the fetus during development or that households with overweight mothers consume larger amounts of sugar. Since bad oral health is linked to diabetes and heart disease, it’s important to look at what factors increase the chances of getting cavities. This study showed heredity, while often blamed for bad oral health, may not be as determinate as some believe. Other more important factors, including forming good brushing and flossing habits, drinking fluoridated water and getting regular dental check-ups may provide greater influences on oral health.