Healthy teeth, healthy grades
Kids with poor oral health are more likely to perform poorly in school: What parents and teachers can do about it
When the school year kicks off, there is a lot to think about – school supplies, after-school activities, and meeting new teachers and classmates. With a packed back-to-school schedule, one of the things that often falls by the wayside is thinking about our kids’ oral health.
Each year children lose valuable days of school due to issues with their teeth. On average, 34 million school hours are lost each year because of unplanned (emergency) dental care, according to the CDC.
What’s more, poor oral health can impact a child’s school attendance and affect their performance in class. In fact, kids with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school and two times more likely to perform poorly, according to CATCH Healthy Smiles, a program that equips schools to teach kids the importance of good oral health care.
It’s no surprise that healthy students are better learners – and both parents and teachers are critical in ensuring kids are spending more time learning at their desks instead of sitting in the dentist’s chair.
The role teachers can play in oral health education
Teachers play an essential role in reaching and influencing children that may not get into the dental office often enough. They can have a significant impact on a child’s oral health habits because of their day-to-day interactions with students.