It may not seem like a logical connection, but did you know that your child’s oral health can either help or hinder their academic success? Making sure they practice good oral habits at home is crucial but so is keeping their regular six-month dental checkups and teeth cleanings. Find out why scheduling a dental visit at the start of the year will give them a better chance of doing well in school.
What is the Link Between Academics and Oral Health?
How is it possible that the status of your child’s teeth and gums can determine how well they do in school? Researchers who published a study in the American Journal of Public Health found that among elementary school students, an average of six school days are missed each year, with 2.1 of those days attributed to oral health problems.
What this means is that the more school a child misses because of poor oral health and hygiene, the more likely they will struggle academically. The reason a child’s smile can have such an impact is that when pain occurs because of a problematic toothache or infection, it becomes difficult for them to focus on anything else.
Young children, most especially, need to be in school as much as possible, as they are learning critical skills such as reading and writing – both of which are essential to academic success.
Another study found that children who have poor oral health are also more likely to feel depressed and unhappy because they may be embarrassed by their smile. They may even become shy and distant from their peers, making it harder to form friendships – another key component for child development.
How Can Parents Help to Improve Oral Hygiene and Boost Academic Achievement?
If you want to make sure that your little one does not fall behind or find themselves spending more time in the dentist’s chair than at school, there are several things you can do to help, such as:
- Schedule a dentist’s appointment for your child at the start of the school year. This visit will allow their dentist to perform a thorough examination to check for signs of decay, misalignment, or infection. Should problems exist, appropriate treatment can be quickly administered, putting their smiles on the right track for the school year.
- Oversee their oral hygiene habits at home. Make sure they are brushing each morning and every night before bed. Also, make sure they are flossing correctly to remove bacteria between teeth.
- Pack healthy lunches that contain more fruits and vegetables as opposed to chips and cookies.
- Outfit them with a custom mouthguard to protect against hard hits while playing sports.
- Help them break bad habits like biting their fingernails, as this can damage their young smile.
No matter the age of your child, their oral health is a priority. By ensuring they receive regular dental care from a trusted professional, they will experience greater confidence both inside and outside the classroom.
About the Practice
At Danville Dental Associates, we offer comprehensive services for patients of all ages. Since 1976, we’ve been a part of the community, growing our practice to what is now five locations throughout Danville and Chatham, VA. We provide outstanding dental services, including those geared toward younger smiles. If you have a child who is preparing to start school but needs help to take better care of their teeth and gums, visit our website or call us to schedule an appointment.