When Kids Need Oral Care, More Parents Skip Work

Dentistry Today


When children have a problem with their oral health, of course, Mom and Dad have to take them to the dentist—and that’s happening in greater numbers. The Delta Dental Plans Association reports that 45% of parents had to miss some work to take care of their child’s oral health in the past year, which is a 6% increase over the 39% total in 2015. 

In another 6% increase over 2015, 14% of parents missed 4 to 10 hours of work to tend to their children’s oral health. Additionally, 10% missed one to 3 hours of work for a 2% increase. Education is impacted as well, with 30% of all 6- to 12-year-olds missing school due to oral health issues. 

Many of these parents aren’t going to the dentist for themselves, though. In 2017, 21% of adults in the workforce missed work due to their oral health, which is a 7% decrease from 2016’s total of 28%. By gender, 25% of men and 17% of women took off work for a dental problem this year, dropping from 2016’s 29% and 26% totals, respectively.

“The vast majority of Americans aren’t taking time away from the office due to oral health issues, and this decline continues to be positive,” said Bill Kohn, DDS, the Delta Dental Plans Association’s vice president of dental science and policy. “It indicates people in the workforce are having fewer oral health issues and taking better care of their teeth.”

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