Back to school season is a time many parents reflect on what their kids’ need to kick-off a successful school year. Backpacks, notepads, pencils and crayons usually make the list of basic needs. Unfortunately, oral heath exams are rarely on the list.
Did you know that, if left untreated, oral health problems can derail a students’ education from the time they start kindergarten?
According to a report published by the Dental Health Foundation in 2006, half a million children in California miss school because of dental problems. Among those problems: Toothaches, having teeth either repaired or removed.
More kids oral health statistics in California show:
- 28% have untreated tooth decay.
- 19% have extensive decay.
- 8% suffer with tooth pain and infections.
The state of California requires children have oral exams prior to starting kindergarten. Poor oral health and pain can impact a child’s ability to pay attention in class and learning.
Knowledge is Key
Another issue many dental health professionals see in California is lack of knowledge. Parents are often given bad information from their family and friends – such as not seeing a dentist until school age. In other instances, toothaches are seen as just “childhood experiences” and many parents will not take oral pain in their kids’ mouths seriously. Some dentists have even seen toddlers come in with baby bottles filled with Coke or chocolate milk.
The most important step to combat oral health problems is simply early prevention. Parents may not always be aware that early childhood health starts long before school. It’s critical for parents to talk to their children’s pediatricians or physicians and get recommendations to find a dental practice or clinic and become regular patients.
Don’t let toothaches and decay follow your child for the rest of his or her life. Take the time this back-to-school season to schedule an routine exam and dental cleaning at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES. The health of your child and future of his or her education depends on it.