September 13, 2020
Although your child’s primary teeth eventually fall out, they are important for more than just a beautiful smile. The baby teeth are crucial to their oral health and development, but they also play a role in their academic success. Believe it or not, tooth decay can lead to bad grades. Unfortunately, at least 20% of children under the age of 11 have at least one untreated cavity. If your child doesn’t receive regular dental care, a cavity can brew in their mouth until it causes a dental emergency. Thankfully, you can set your child up for academic success with the help of their children’s dentist.
Childhood Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is 5 times more common than asthma. In fact, cavities are the leading chronic health condition for children in America; however, they can easily be prevented with proper oral hygiene habits at home and regular care from a family dentist.
Tooth decay isn’t caused by a single issue. Instead, there are several contributing factors, such as ineffective brushing and flossing techniques, a poor diet, or skipping routine dental appointments. If a cavity isn’t detected quickly, it can extend past the enamel, infecting the inner layer, called the pulp. This can lead to a painful toothache that may require immediate care.
Tooth Decay and Bad Grades
Attendance is vital for academic success. Even a few absences can cause your child to fall behind. Did you know illness isn’t the leading cause of school absences? Instead, it’s dental issues, like toothaches. If the pain is caused by decay that’s infected the pulp, your child might need a root canal to save their tooth, which requires multiple appointments. They might miss several days of school to treat a problem that could have been avoided.
Besides academics, your child’s dental health can also affect their social life at school. Dental issues often lead to low self-esteem, causing them to isolate from their peers. Your child’s school experience and performance can both suffer the consequences of an unhealthy smile.
Preventing Childhood Tooth Decay
Thankfully, there are several things you can do to ensure your child has the cavity-free smile they need to succeed. To ensure your child’s smile stays healthy, here are a few tips to follow.
- Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that accommodates the size of their mouth.
- Choose a fluoride toothpaste to promote strong enamel.
- Ensure they brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes twice a day.
- Ensure they floss their teeth nightly.
- Limit their consumption of sugary foods and drinks.
- Promote a balanced diet.
- Schedule routine appointments for a cleaning and checkup.
You can give your child everything they need to succeed in the school year ahead with a healthy smile.
About Dr. Valerie Haugtington
Dr. Haughtington is a trusted family dentist in the community for high-quality dental care. As a mother of 4, she understands the compassionate care young smiles need to thrive. Through a focus on prevention, she encourages healthy teeth and gums. If your child needs a cleaning and checkup, contact our office today for an appointment.
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