Back-to-school season is in full swing, and you’ve probably got a lot of things going on as you prepare your little one for their return to the classroom. But as you’re scrambling to buy supplies and sort out their schedule, something else to keep in mind is the state of their smile—your child’s oral health actually plays quite a large role in their academic success! Here’s more from your dentist in San Marcos about this link along with some helpful tips to protect their smile and help them bring home a great report card!
How Your Child’s Oral Health Impacts Their Academic Success
Studies have found an observable link between oral health and academic success. Researchers at the National Library of Medicine analyzed roughly 40,000 students and found that those with dental problems or poor oral health were significantly more likely to not only miss school, but also have problems in the classroom and struggled to complete all of their required work.
Additionally, the students were negatively affected by some of the psychological consequences of poor dental health, including embarrassment, lowered self-confidence, and feelings of worthlessness that negatively affected their academic performance. Conversely, students with healthy smiles exhibited growth and development in the classroom and in social situations.
Helpful Oral Health Tips for the New School Year
A little knowledge can go a long way—consider these tips to help keep your child’s smile white and bright throughout the school year, which in turn will boost their academic success:
- Encourage good oral hygiene – make sure that your child is brushing their teeth twice a day, ideally with a soft bristled toothbrush. Also encourage flossing and the use of an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Schedule regular dental visits – Preventive care is one of the most important aspects of keeping a clean and healthy mouth, so be sure you’re taking your child to the dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. This gives your child’s dentist the chance to remove stubborn plaque and tartar buildup, in addition to detecting and treating underlying problems. A visit before the start of the school year can go a long way!
- Encourage sports safety – Mouth injuries aren’t uncommon during children’s sports and games, so encourage the use of a mouthguard to help prevent serious dental emergencies.
- Provide a healthy diet – Encourage your child to make healthy choices when it’s time for them to eat; have them opt for hearty fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbs, and plenty of water instead of processed, sugary, and starchy items.
Don’t hesitate to help your child get their oral health back on track this school year—in doing so, you’ll also help them succeed in their studies!
About the Author
Dr. J. Robert Donnelly has proudly served patients and families in the San Marcos, TX area for several years. Dr. Donnelly received his dental doctorate from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry. His practice is pleased to offer a wide range of available services including preventive, cosmetic, and restorative options. If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule a visit for you or your child, you can contact the Dr. Donnelly through his practice’s website or over the phone: (512) 396-5225.