As a parent, you’re undoubtedly doing everything you can to help your son or daughter succeed in life. One way you can help set them up for a successful school year is to make sure their smile stays happy and healthy! Not only are healthy teeth and gums important for their overall wellbeing and development, but studies show that oral health can influence academic performance. Read on as your Worthington dentist explains this important connection and what you can do to help your little one have a great school year.
Linking Oral Health & Academics
Poor oral health alone won’t directly lead to bad grades in school. However, numerous recent studies indicate that children with healthy teeth and gums are more academically successful than those with unhealthy smiles. Researchers with the Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California reported in a recent study that children with untreated cavities or who reported dental pain were more likely to have a lower grade-point average (GPA) than those with healthy smiles. In addition, another contributing factor to this connection was limited access to dental care experienced by some participants due to socioeconomic factors.
How an Unhealthy Smile Can Contribute to Bad Grades
Poor oral health can create obstacles that make it more difficult for children to do well in school, such as:
- Trouble focusing: Persistent toothaches or other irritating dental issues can distract your child from paying attention in class or focusing on homework.
- Shyness in class: When children are uncomfortable with how their teeth look or feel, they’re less likely to ask questions or participate in activities.
- Lowered self-confidence: Dental pain can cause your child to feel self-conscious about their smile, which can take a toll on their confidence.
- Reduced attendance: Poor oral health can lead to numerous dental visits or emergency appointments which cause them to miss days of schoolwork.
Tips for Great Oral Health This School Year
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can help your little one keep their precious smile healthy this school year, like:
- Ensuring they’re brushing their teeth for a full two minutes twice a day.
- Teaching them to floss effectively daily.
- Limiting the amount of sugary snacks and drinks they’re exposed to.
- Scheduling their routine dental checkups and cleanings every six months.
Your child’s oral health influences many aspects of their life, including their school grades! Keeping their teeth and gums healthy will help set them up for a great academic year and a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles!
About the Author
Dr. Randall Nameth cares for smiles of all ages in Worthington and the surrounding communities. He and his team are proud to offer a wide range of dental services for the whole family, from children to grandparents! With the latest dental technology, comfortable patient amenities, and always on time family appointments, Dr. Nameth goes above and beyond to help you care for your little one’s precious smile. To learn more or schedule a checkup for your son or daughter, feel free to contact him via his website or at (614) 846-2222.