You’ve packed their backpack full of new supplies including binders, pens, a lunchbox, new sneakers and you’ve even put them back on a scheduled bed time routine. You’re working hard to make sure that your child is ready for school, but they may already be at a disadvantage. New studies show that poor dental health can lead to lower grades in school.
In children aged six to nineteen years, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease. In adolescents it’s four times more common than asthma. Not only does tooth decay affect children’s health, it also affects their academic performance. Poor oral and dental health, dental disease and tooth pain places kids at a serious disadvantage in school leading to poor grades. According to a USC study:
- Children who reported having tooth pain were four times more likely to have a low GPA compared to children with good oral health
- Poor oral health is linked to more school absences which results in missed work for parents.
- 11 % of children with limited access (lack of insurance, transportation or other barriers) to dental care missed school due to poor oral health, as opposed to 4% of children with access to dental care
- On average, elementary kids missed six days per year due to oral health issues
It is not as uncommon as most people would believe. In fact, pediatric dental disease is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. A painful tooth or chronic dental problem can lead to difficulty in eating, speaking and even concentrating.
What You Can Do
There are basic preventive steps to help your child maintain good oral health and avoid having them cause bad grades:
- Establish good dental hygiene habits early. Dental care should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears.
- Serve as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits yourself.
- Provide a healthy diet including healthy lunches for you and your family. Try to stay away from packing acidic drinks like sodas.
- Schedule regular dental visits for family checkups, periodontal evaluations & cleanings.
- Check your child’s mouth for the signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.
How We’re Helping
At Slave Lake Dental we believe that proper care and education in the early years will help prevent the negative cycle of tooth decay. Our team has participated in several outreach projects in Slave Lake and around the world.
Throughout the year Slave Lake Dental visits schools in Slave Lake and area and provides each child with good oral health guidance, a new toothbrush and age-appropriate exercises or activities about good oral health. Kids Day at Slave Lake Dental is a fun day where we see only kids in the office for the whole day, have entertainment in the lobby and have a lot fun. Slave Lake Dental loves to work with schools, organizations and groups that would like more information, educational materials or that just want to have some of our staff come down, visit and share information.
Contact our office today to find out how we can partner with your family and/or your school to give kids in our community the bright smiles they deserve!