They examined data on 2,635 U.S. women ages 18 to 64, sorting the nationally representative sample into three categories — low, middle and high socioeconomic status.
In the highest socioeconomic group, women with no children were missing on average less than one tooth, those with one child were missing about two teeth and those with four or more were missing about five teeth.
Among the women in the lowest socioeconomic group, those with no children on average were missing two teeth, those with one child were missing an average of three teeth and those with four or more were missing more than eight teeth.
The trend also held true in the middle socioeconomic group, said the researchers at New York University and Yale University in Connecticut.
“It seems that having more children is related to having fewer teeth,” New York University dental professor Dr. Stefanie Russell, who led the research published in the American Journal of Public Health, said in a telephone interview.
“People might say that happens because women who are poor have more children and women who are poor are not going to be able to afford the dentist,” she said. “But we found that it was true across all socioeconomic levels.”
The study did not break down the results by race.
Well…I have one child and I lost one tooth after I had him – so maybe these researchers are onto something.