Can Tooth Problems Hinder Your Child’s Academic Progress?

Sep 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Children's Dentistry, Oral Hygiene

Tooth ProblemsIn a survey conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA), participants were asked a series of true or false questions regarding proper oral hygiene practices, including how often to brush and at what age a child should first see a dentist. Had the survey been a test, Americans would have scored a collective D, which is barely passing by current academic standards. Ironically, research also suggests that poor oral hygiene may be a factor in less-than-stellar academic performance among disadvantaged children, who often do not have access to regular dental care. Richmond family dentist Dr. Stefan Moiceanu explores the possible connection between bad teeth and bad grades.

Connecting the Dots in Los Angeles

An Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC study examined the oral health and academic success of nearly 1500 socioeconomically disadvantaged school children in Los Angeles. The participants’ grades ranged from elementary to high school, and the study revealed that children who recently reported tooth discomfort were four times more likely to be below the median grade point of average (GPA) of 2.8. School attendance seemed to suffer, too, as approximately 2.1 days of elementary school and 2.3 days of high school were missed due to dental issues.  To care for children with ailing teeth, parents took 2.5 days off from work during the same period.

Help Them Protect Their Teeth

Previously, Ostrow researchers reported that 73% of children within the same demographic in Los Angeles had signs of tooth decay, which can largely be prevented with an adequate oral hygiene routine. Teaching your children to properly care for their teeth can prepare them for a lifetime of healthy smiles, and help increase their chances of academic success. The ADA recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once. Attending a dental checkup at least every six months is as important for children as it is for adults, and in some cases Dr. Moiceanu may recommend more frequent appointments. Children should attend their first dental visit after their first tooth appears, or at least before their first birthday. For more detailed tips on caring for your child’s teeth, visit our website, or contact Dr. Moiceanu at our Richmond, CA dentist office by calling 510-758-7222. Located in Richmond, we proudly serve families from Berkeley, San Pablo, Pinole, Benicia, Vallejo, and the surrounding communities.

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