Dental Health and School Performance
Researchers from the University of Southern California have done research on the relation between oral health and mental performance. The researchers had a very clear conclusion: there is a significant relation between oral health and school performance. They examined nearly 1,500 children in Los Angeles; matching their oral health status to their academic achievements and attendance records. All the children were from a similar social class.
The researchers found that the children who had poor school performances, 73% had caries. There is clearly a specific connection between oral health and performance in school for this population. Children who reported having recent tooth pain were four times more likely to have a low grade point average compared to children without oral pain.It was also found that children with poorer oral health had more absent days from school compared to children with good oral health.
One factor that leads to lower school performance is the lack of access to dental care. Only 11% of these children had partial access to dental care, for example by not having health insurance, no transportation, or other barriers.
The researchers therefore recommend that oral health programs must be integrated more into other health, educational and social programs. They also advise widespread population studies to demonstrate the enormous personal, societal and financial burdens that this epidemic of oral disease is causing on a national level.
We can conclude that there is a direct connection between oral health and school performance. As a parent it is therefore important to help your child with their dental hygiene. There is really not much effort needed: just (let them) brush twice daily and visit the dentist twice a year.