School is almost back in session, and that may mean you’re packing backpacks full of fresh pencils, blank paper, and a box of Kleenex or two. While you are busy marking things off the back-to-school to-do list, have you considered a trip to your children’s dentist? Recent research suggests that having a healthy smile is correlated to greater success in school. Keep reading to learn more about the study, as well as tips for maintaining clean teeth and gums all year long!
About the Research
A study recently published in The Journal of Pediatrics looked at data from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health to determine if there was a link between child dental health and school performance. What they found indicated that there is a connection – in fact, they concluded that “dental problems were significantly associated with reductions in school performance and psychosocial well-being.”
Children of all ages who had cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems were more likely to be absent, less likely to do homework, and reported greater levels of shyness than their peers with healthy smiles.
The findings from this research are unfortunate, because no child deserves to feel anything less than confident – especially on account of their dental health. The good news is that the vast majority of these issues can be prevented at home.
Back-to-School Oral Health Tips
More often than not, the secret to a healthy smile is prevention and habit. While you are busy getting used to earlier wakeups and bedtimes this back-to-school season, take the opportunity to encourage your child to perfect their dental health routine as well.
Some tips for a healthier smile this month and all year long include:
- Encourage your child to brush for two minutes, twice a day. Set a timer by the sink and continue to monitor their habits until you are confident they are able to thoroughly clean every single time. Spot checks every so often aren’t a bad idea, either.
- Underscore the importance of flossing, since it helps to clean the areas that the toothbrush can’t reach.
- Visit the dentist twice annually. These visits are key for early intervention of small issues before they become larger problems.
- Make sure you brush and floss your own teeth thoroughly – your child is always watching you to learn what is truly important!
Instill these habits in your child and get ready to watch them succeed with a healthy, beautiful smile! It’s going to be a great year.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Gus Bal earned his dental degree from Boston University’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine and has continued to stay on top of the latest advances in his field through a number of continuing education opportunities. He offers expert care and comprehensive dentistry services for the whole family. To schedule a back-to-school checkup and cleaning for your child, contact Bal Dental Centre at 416-267-6789.