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How Good Oral Health Can Set Your Child Up for Academic Success

August 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Michael Royse @ 10:01 pm
Laughing schoolchildren

It’s hard to pay attention in class when you have a toothache. In fact, studies have shown that children with poorer dental health often have less success in the academic world. So while you’re doing your back-to-school shopping and making sure your child stays on top of their summer reading, be sure to have them scheduled for a visit to their pediatric dentist. Read on to find out how good dental health can set a child up for academic success.

You Can’t Be in School If You’re at the Dentist’s Office

The average elementary student misses about two days of school a year because of dental problems. The lessons and instruction missed during these days add up over time. This also extends to the parents because they have to miss two and a half days of work annually to deal with their children’s dental issues.

Children Can’t Monitor Their Dental Care on Their Own

Children sometimes have a hard time communicating their troubles to their parents. They might not tell them about a dental problem because they are afraid of getting in trouble for not brushing their teeth. They might not realize that the pain in their mouths has anything to do with oral hygiene because of a simple lack of experience. If their dental ailments go untreated, the resulting discomfort can take its toll on their studies. The best way to avoid these problems is to schedule your child for regular dental exams while practicing good dental care.

Good Dental Care Starts at Home

Regular dental visits won’t do much to prevent tooth decay and gum disease if the child is not practicing good oral hygiene at home. Here are some ways you can ensure your little one is maintaining good dental health at home:

  • Teach your child to brush their teeth for at least two minutes twice a day.
  • Begin flossing your child’s teeth once a day as soon as any two teeth are touching.
  • Start the child on fluoride mouthwash at age six.
  • Limit sugar and starch in the child’s diet, and only serve them during mealtimes so the extra saliva can help keep the teeth clean.
  • Find a regular dentist for your child by the first tooth or first birthday.
  • Read fun children’s books about the importance of good oral hygiene.

Most dental emergencies are preventable, and keeping on top of good oral hygiene and regular dental visits can save a child not only a lot of pain, but also a lot of distraction from schoolwork. By making a dental visit part of the back-to-school routine, you are setting your children up for success this school year.

About the Author

Dr. Michael Royse earned his doctorate at The Oregon Health Sciences University School of Dentistry in 1987 before serving as a dental officer in the United States Navy for eleven years. He now serves as a certified Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. His practice provides pediatric services for infants, toddlers, elementary schoolers, and teens. If you are interested in scheduling a back-to-school dental appointment, contact his office online or dial (503) 640-6565.

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