That's right - you read that headline correctly. Regular trips to the family dentist may improve children's grades. He won't tutor them in history or teach them their times tables. In fact, he probably won't teach much of anything beyond how to brush and floss, and chances are he won't quiz them on that any time soon. Still, regular trips to the pediatric dentist could improve your child's academic experience. Do we have your attention?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children miss more than 51 million hours of school per year as a result of pediatric dental problems and related conditions. What's more, dental pain can distract students, cause their school work to suffer and lead to absences. In general, those with healthy teeth are more attentive in class, participate more in school-related activities and have better attendance. All of this spells better grades and a better all around education, thanks to regular child dental care, exams and education.
One of the most important exams your child can pass is the one performed by his or her family dentist, but you still have to do your part. Teach your child to floss once a day and brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, assuming he or she is old enough to use one. Also, a healthy diet will not only boost concentration, but result in healthier teeth and gums. Beware of frequent snacking and repeated exposure to sugary or acidic treats. Most importantly, be sure children attend their dental appointments at least twice a year. Pediatric dentists provide ongoing oral health assessments that will prevent dental conditions - not to mention school absences.