It is no secret that brushing your teeth twice a day is key to a heathy, clean mouth.
But with around one in four children aged five having dental caries in the UK, instilling healthy oral health habits is crucial.
And mothers could be the key to edging the nation closer to better dental health.
Only when mums displayed a better attitude towards brushing were children more likely to brush their teeth twice a day, according to a new study. They were also more likely to have sound dentition.
Now, experts are saying mothers have 'considerable potential' to be a key tool for oral health professionals to communicate important messages.
But this is not the only study to demonstrate the influence of mothers on kids' oral health.
Another set of research found that a mother's mental wellbeing may be linked to how often their offspring brush their teeth.
Postpartum depression – alongside a lack of affection – was found to hamper a mother's ability to encourage healthy dental habits in children.
For example the children of those suffering from depression or bonding disorders brushed their teeth less often. But the frequency with which children cleaned their teeth spiked when mothers displayed strong affection.
It is hoped the findings will provoke greater mental health support for mothers. Additionally the researchers encourage doctors to consider these factors when assessing children's oral health.
'A mother's psychological well-being provides valuable screening information for identifying children at a high risk of ECC,' said Dr Shinobu Tsuchiya, who led the research group.