As summer draws to a close, families get ready to go back to school. But children with chronic oral health problems are 3 times more likely to miss school than their classmates, according to DentalPlans.com. And even when they are in class, dental pain makes it difficult for them to focus on their work, adversely affecting their educational success and their confidence.
“Children already deal with enough challenges while in school, and the last thing they need is to miss school because they are in pain or experiencing a lower self-esteem due to dental issues,” said Bill Chase, vice president of marketing at DentalPlans.com.
Tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease for children and adults alike even though it is largely preventable with at-home oral hygiene practices such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash regularly and regular professional checkups and cleanings, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).
Yet 42% of children in the United States between the ages of 2 and 11 years have had cavities in their primary teeth, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 23% of them did not see a dentist for treatment, the NIDCR adds. Also, nearly 60% of adolescents have had decay in their permanent teeth, and 20% have not received treatment.
Aside from proper oral hygiene practices, DentalPlans.com notes, visiting the dentist is one of the best ways to ensure that a child will have a successful school year. The company also points out that various plan options can save individuals and families alike a considerable amount of money on costly procedures, including braces.
“Many states require students to have an annual checkup, so the back-to-school season is the perfect time to focus on enhancing the entire family’s dental health,” said Chase. “And, it is important to teach children at an early age the value of quality dental care and how their actions now can help them maintain a healthy mouth and overall health.”