Performing poorly in school can be linked to a number of different factors, but most people wouldn’t connect bad grades with poor oral health. According to a study from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, bad grades in school can be an indicator of poor oral health. In fact, the study showed that children with recent tooth pain were four times more likely to have a low GPA. Here at Dentistry of Nashville, we believe your oral health can be important to several different aspects of your life from your overall happiness to your child’s academic performance. Today, Drs. Elam, Vaugham, and Fleming are blogging from Nashville, TN to explain the connections between academic performance and oral health.
The Results of the Study
The study looked at 1,500 children from socioeconomically challenged families and noticed low GPAs connected with few dental appointments. So, why are these two connected? Here are the two main reasons the study found:
- More Time Away From the Classroom: Another study estimates that more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental disease. Children with poor oral health are more likely to miss school due to dental pain. When these children finally make it to the dentist, there treatment is usually more extensive and time consuming, causing them to miss more school. On average, elementary students will miss 2.1 days of school while high school students will miss 2.3 days due to dental issues.
- Academic Focus Diminished by Dental Pain: It’s not hard to understand why children with poor oral health perform worse in school than their counterparts with good oral health. Dental issues can often be accompanied by a lot of pain. If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know firsthand that focusing can be difficult.
Prevalence of Poor Oral Health in Children
Unfortunately, oral health problems in children is an all too common problem. Here are just a few staggering statistics about oral health in children.
- 20% of children 5-11 years old have at least one untreated decayed tooth
- Tooth decay is five times more common than asthma in young children
- 17 million children in America go without dental care each year
- Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease worldwide
Steps to Good Oral Health for Children
Your child’s oral health can affect their self-esteem, overall health, and school performance. To avoid potential oral health problems, keep the following tips in mind:
- Make brushing and flossing a daily routine for your child
- Take care of your own teeth to serve as a good role model
- Make regular dentist check-ups
- Spot out potential issues like cavities and gingivitis early on
Contact our Office in Nashville, TN
Take control of the oral health of your family by regularly going to the dentist. Here at Dentistry of Nashville, we offer general and family dentistry to maintain great oral health for your loved ones. If you have any questions or concerns about oral health, contact our office in Nashville, TN!