Learn how to keep dental health in check during the new school year

It’s that time of year again – students are headed back to school. Here’s one thing you can do to ensure your child doesn’t miss many school days this year: Keep an eye on their dental health.


Oral health doesn’t just affect overall health but academic performance as well. A study published in the Journal of Public Health showed that “per 100 elementary and high school-aged children, 58 and 80 school hours, respectively, are missed annually. Parents averaged 2.5 absent days from work or school per year because of their children’s dental problems.” 


If your child is in pain because of a cavity, it could make it harder for them to concentrate in class. They might have to miss school to take care of dental emergencies.


It’s a good idea to schedule a dental checkup over the summer so you can address any health concerns before school starts. Your child’s dentist will recommend how often your child should get a checkup. If it’s twice a year, you can time the visits so there’s one during the summer and one during winter break. That way, your child won’t have to miss school for the dental appointment. Visiting a dentist on a regular basis will ensure you prevent dental problems. Prevention can save you time and money on dental costs and care.


The earlier you establish an oral care routine with your child, the better. It will become second nature for them to clean their teeth at the same time each day. Perhaps you can encourage them to clean their teeth before school and at night before bed. Cleaning their teeth once a day is fine as long as they spend seven to 10 minutes thoroughly doing the job.


If you’re packing snacks and lunch for your child to take to school, be sure to provide healthy options that don’t contain too much sugar. Avoid giving them sticky foods like fruit snacks and choose fresh fruit.

The benefits of proper oral care are lifelong. Research shows that poor oral health is linked to cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications, and diabetes. Help your child start off the school year with a dental care routine they can stick to even on busy school days.

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