It won’t be long before school bells are signaling the start of the new academic year. When your children show up for classes, you want them to have a backpack full of supplies and a willingness to learn. If they can show up with a healthy smile, that can help.
It may not seem related to success in school at first, but good oral health can play a role in how your children perform in the classroom. We’ll discuss some of the reasons for this below.
For now, we welcome and encourage you to schedule a dental checkup soon at our family dentistry in Johnson City, NY. Call 607-304-3993 to make your next appointment at the office of Dr. Jerry Farrell.
Understanding The Issues
It’s not difficult to understand why poor oral health could affect a student’s performance in school.
A child who is in pain due to an oral health problem can easily be too distracted to focus on a teacher’s lesson or to correctly complete an assigned task. For a similar reason, that child may not eat a full breakfast or lunch. That can leave a child feeling hungry and low on energy throughout the day. This, too, can affect their ability to concentrate in class.
According to the Children’s Dental Health Project, around 14 percent of kids (1 in 7) between 6 and 12 years old reported having a toothache during the previous six months in a recent survey. A separate study found the kids who have poor oral health are four times more likely to have low grades than their peers. Other surveys have shown that dental pain is a common cause of missed school. Indeed, the American Dental Association estimates that children in the United States miss 51 million hours of instruction each year as a result of oral health problems.
Whether you look at this situation anecdotally or statistically, poor oral health is not going to help any child improve their education. That’s why prevention is the first lesson we want our patients to learn.
Getting A Head Start
Home is where all good oral health begins. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about what to do as part of your daily routine.
The ADA recommends doing a few things. First, brush your teeth twice daily. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride to scrub your teeth on all sides. Second, you should use dental floss or another interdental cleaner to remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque from the spaces between your teeth and gums. Doing both of those things will greatly reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease.
At the same time, none of us brush and floss perfectly every single time. It’s also why the ADA recommends getting professional dental cleanings and exams on a regular basis. With professional care, we can clean the plaque and tartar buildup in your family’s mouths.
To further protect against tooth decay, you may want to consider dental sealants and fluoride treatments. Sealants coat teeth to create a barrier between smiles and harmful bacteria. Fluoride can repair minor damage before it becomes decay, and fluoride can make teeth stronger and more resistant to cavity-causing bacteria.
If we do find signs of developing problems, we would much rather deal with it today than put it off until tomorrow. You may not want a dental filling for your son or daughter, but we think you would agree that is better than needing a root canal as a result of a tooth infection.
Start The School Year Right
When your kids show up for the first day of school, the may not be smiling. You can help them at least arrive with a healthy mouth. Schedule a visit to the family dentistry of Dr. Jerry Farrell soon.