Few studies have investigated the role of early maternal enabling and psychosocial factors on subsequent adolescent caries experience. In this retrospective cohort study of 224 adolescents, we hypothesized that the causal pathway between early maternal enabling factors (education, cognitive abilities, psychological distress) and adolescent caries experience (DMFT) at age 14 yrs is mediated by maternal psychosocial factors (stress, coping, social support) and adolescent dental behavior/access. Maternal data on socio-demographic, medical, and psychosocial variables were measured when the child was 3, 8, and 14 yrs old. A structural equations model (SEM) evaluated the causal pathway, with latent variables for maternal enabling factors (MEF), stress, coping, and social support. Poor MEF was associated with increased stress and poorer coping when the child was 3 yrs old, which in turn affected adolescent dental visits and behavior. Greater social support at child’s age 3 was directly associated with lower mean DMFT in adolescence. Maternal psychosocial factors measured when children are young are important mediators for adolescent mean DMFT, but these factors measured when children are adolescents are not. Better early and concurrent MEF, however, was associated directly/indirectly (through dental visits and insurance) with adolescent DMFT. Early maternal factors are important predictors for adolescent caries.