Can Poor Oral Health Equal Bad Grades for Children?

Dental Health Care Can Affect More Than Just Your Teeth

poor oral health equals bad grades for children


Have you ever considered the effect that your child’s oral health could have on their school performance? Many parents find that they never considered the correlation. In 2011, the American Public Health Association released a study that confirmed the effect poor oral health can have on children’s overall school performance. Oftentimes, patients don’t understand that taking care of your dental health is just as important as your general health. In fact, oral hygiene and overall health are linked. In turn, this can affect other aspects of life. When it comes to children, it is parent’s responsibility to teach them the importance of taking care of their teeth and gums.

The Relationship Between Dental Health and School Performance

While it may not be a problem you have actively considered, it makes perfect sense that having poor oral health care can negatively affect other aspects of your life. Imagine having to go through a work day with oral pains or discomfort. This can affect a child even more. In the American Public Health Association’s study, they test the hypothesis that children with poor oral health performed worse in their than their counterparts. In part, this is due to absences that may occur when a child experiences dental pain. Children are much less likely to understand the importance of maintaining a proper dental routine, as well as avoiding some damaging habits, like eating lots of sweets. Keeping regular dental appointments, talking to your dentist, and teaching your kids how to properly brush their teeth can help to reduce their risk of developing debilitating dental problems.

Children also have a tendency to be less forthcoming when expressing pains or discomforts, especially if it has to do with not completing a task – like brushing their teeth or flossing. In some cases, they may not understand the symptoms of certain oral conditions, and may not know how to properly describe them. Instead, they may tell their parents they don’t feel well, and attribute certain feelings like headaches or swelling around the jaw to a cold or a sore throat.

When this results in absences, children can fall drastically behind at school, causing grades and GPAs to drop. The APHA study found that children who reported tooth pain were four times more likely to have a grade point average below than children who were not suffering from tooth ailments and almost 3 times more likely to miss school due to those dental pains. If left untreated, tooth decay and lead to more than just poor school performance, and can develop into more serious problems, like periodontitis or tooth loss.

Don’t Let Your Children Be Affected

Tooth decay can develop in different ways, and it is important to remember that children can develop this just as easily as adults. Preventative dentistry methods can help your children avoid these issues altogether. Dr. Acosta is highly experienced in children’s dentistry and understands the delicate nature of working with kids. In these times, affordable and reliable dental services can sometimes be hard to find.

At Acosta Dental Arts, parents can be sure that their children will be receiving the best dental care available in the Palm Beach area. Plus, our services won’t break the bank! Don’t hesitate – call our office to schedule your Free Smile Assessment today!

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