Does Your Child's Oral Health Impact His/Her School Performance?

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Research has proven a child's school performance can be affected by poor oral health practices. Dental pain can cause children to miss school and not do as well with school work as children that have the necessary preventative care on his/her teeth.

The Survey is Proof: The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) was given in 1984 as evidence of school either being missed or restricting activities because of dental issues. Over 51 million hours have been documented annually as a loss to acute dental conditions. 

It was estimated on average at least one day was missed for each child in California during 2007, resulting from research involving 504,000 children. Additional studies were given in North Carolina in 2011, stating it was more than three times more likely for children with bad oral hygiene to miss school or have problems with academic performance versus students that had good oral health practices.

Is it Chronic? Cavities are a chronic childhood disease. It is more common than asthma (5 times), childhood obesity (4 times), and diabetes (20 times) which makes the impact on your child's disease real. It is caused as the food is broken down, causing acid that can damage the child's teeth. If it isn't treated promptly, it can have an effect on the child and his/her future health.

Left Untreated: If it isn't treated, it could lead to bacterial infections and malnutrition that could result in an emergency surgery. As time proceeds, the child could develop diabetes, stroke, heart disease, pneumonia, and many other harmful diseases. Unfortunately, in the United States, more than 16 million cases have been reported for children that have not been treated for tooth decay.

Prevent the Cycle:  A fluoride varnish can be applied to the tooth's surface to help prevent decay. It can be done two to four times annually at a young age according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The varnish can't stop all cavities, but it can aid in the process. It is recommended for children to be evaluated as young as six months or no more than six months after the first tooth appears.

More than 258,000 children in 36 states now have the opportunity to receive dental sealants. If you can't afford the procedure and save your child from the ridicule, it would be beneficial to research this plan.

Poor dental hygiene can cause the child to have speech issues that can definitely have an effect on his/her academic progress.