Back to school with good dental health

A tooth that hurts a lot or chronic dental problems can lead to difficulty eating, talking and concentrating, and dental problems can cause many children to miss school days. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children lose more than 750,000 school days each year as a result of dental problems and related conditions.

Routine dental examinations reveal problems that can be treated in the early stages, when the damage is minimal and the restorations may be small. This helps prevent painful and chronic conditions and saves money.

Dental health is as important as immunizations, say dentists.

All children need and deserve to get healthy on the first day of school and be ready to learn. This remains the most common chronic disease among children – four times more common than asthma and a key cause of tooth loss in people.

Unhealthy snack options also have a negative impact on dental health, so when sending children back to school you should make sure to pack lunches with water and milk instead of sweetened drinks.

When teeth come into frequent contact with sweetened soft drinks and other sugar-containing substances, the risk of tooth decay increases, as does the erosive potential of tooth enamel. Children and adolescents are more susceptible to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not fully developed.

Eating habits, home care, treatment needs in the past, fluoride intake and other factors will affect the likelihood of dental disease, and the frequency of dental visits will depend on those factors. But scheduling a visit to the dentist at the beginning of the school year can help you start the year on the right foot.