Autumn is right around the corner, which means it’s almost time for your son or daughter to begin a brand-new school year! Whether they’ll be attending school in person or participating in virtual classes, you naturally want them to do their best. Making sure they have all of their supplies is important, but did you know that your child’s oral health can affect how well they perform in school? Keep reading as a children’s dentist in Carlisle reveals how keeping your little one’s smile healthy can set them up for a great school year!
What Does the Research Say?
In recent years, many studies and surveys have been conducted to study the link between children’s oral health, academic performance, and mental wellbeing. Many of them have observed a significant reduction in school performance and overall mood in children with dental problems. These issues (cavities, chipped teeth, crooked teeth, etc.) have been linked to shyness, decreased ability to make and maintain friendships, and general unhappiness.
How Oral Health Affects Academic Performance
At first, it might not seem logical that cavities or damaged teeth could impact the grades your child earns. When you take a closer look, though, you’ll find several reasons why this connection exists, including:
- Missed classes and homework – Kids with poor dental health often have to attend more frequent appointments with their dentist, causing them to miss more lessons and have less time to complete their homework.
- Difficulty focusing – A child who feels insecure about the appearance of their teeth, or deals with tooth pain on a regular basis, may have trouble focusing while in class or while doing their homework.
- Less participation – When a child is self-conscious about their smile, they’re less likely to participate in class activities or ask questions so as to avoid drawing attention to themselves.
- Reduced self-confidence – Children generally won’t do well in school if they don’t believe that they can. If their self-esteem has plummeted due to dental problems, they’re less likely to feel confident in their own abilities.
Children’s Dental Health Tips for a Successful School Year
Luckily, helping your son or daughter maintain excellent oral health is often easier than you might think! To set them up for a great school year full of happy smiles, be sure to:
- Schedule your little one’s six-month checkup and cleaning with your children’s dentist in Carlisle.
- Encourage your child to brush and floss at home every single day.
- Limit their exposure to sugary snacks and beverages.
- Pack lunches with mouth-healthy foods like cheese, yogurt, nuts, and apples.
- Teach them about the importance of having a healthy smile.
The health of your kid’s smile affects much more than just their teeth. Make sure they’re prepared for the upcoming school year by helping them feel confident about their oral health!
About the Author
As a father of three, Dr. Thomas Neslund fully understands the importance of children’s dental health. He obtained his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in 1990. Since then, he has expanded his knowledge in various areas of the dental field, including pediatric dentistry. At Carlisle Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, he offers many services to help kids maintain healthy smiles, including dental sealants and fluoride treatments. To learn more tips from a children’s dentist in Carlisle, contact Dr. Neslund at 717-258-5455.