Notebooks? Check. Backpack? Check. Pencils? Check. Every parent has their own list of back to school supplies that their child needs to start the school year off on the right foot. No matter what’s on your back to school to do list, our dental office in Hagerstown wants to make sure a dental visit is one of them.
Oral Health is Linked to Overall Health
While there are several reasons children should see their dentist in Hagerstown before heading off to their first day of school, perhaps the most important one has more to do with their whole bodies, not just their smiles.
Poor oral health has been linked to several serious diseases including:
- Heart disease
These chronic health issues are so common in children that, according to the National Institutes of Health, 20-30% of American children and adolescents suffer from diseases caused by poor oral health. It’s our goal to keep the children in our community healthy, and their regular dental visits can help. Dental cleanings and checkups at least every six months help identify any problems early while they’re easier to treat and before they start to affect the rest of the body. Cavities can be filled before they cause pain, sealants can be applied to help protect teeth against decay, and gum disease can be treated.
Poor Oral Health Can Affect Grades
Another reason we like to encourage parents to get their children to the dentist prior to beginning school is to help keep kids in school so they can learn. Any dental problem that isn’t caught before the school year begins can cause pain which distracts kids from learning, and even cause children to be absent from class. In fact, a study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health Dentistry concluded that of the six days of school missed each year on average, two of them were because of a dental related issue. In order for children to thrive in school and get good grades, they need to be in school. Seeing a dentist for a clean bill of health can help.
Doing Your Part at Home
Dental checkups at least every six months are only one part of protecting teeth from decay and gums from disease. We also need to practice good oral hygiene habits at home. This means making sure your kids (and you!) are brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
Looking for a family dentist? Call our Hagerstown dental office to schedule an appointment!