Back to School Fun – Don’t Forget School Dental Exams
Backpack…check. Pencils…check. Crayons… check. School Dental exam…
It’s that time of the year again. Labor day just passed, football is back on TV, hurricane season is upon us. Virginia Beach tourists are headed home and your neighbor potted her mums. That can only mean one thing—back to school! Start the school year with a clean bill of health. We (Coastal and the AAPD) advocate mandatory, school dental exams for all children without an active, nurturing dental home.
Cavities and School – How are oral health and school related?
Dental caries is the most common chronic disease of childhood. According to research, dental caries affects approximately 25% of children 2-5 years old and jumps to 58% of children 6-8. Dental care, including access to care, is still one of the biggest unmet needs of children. Oral conditions can impact eating robbing the growing body of nutrition. Cavities and missing teeth can cause speech difficulties. Cavities and dental disease can impact self-esteem and daily activities with peers. Oral health disease directly affects school attendance and behavior, thus indirectly affecting school performance. Feel free to read the previous post addressing the relationship between poor oral health and academic performance. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
What can we do?
We’re here to help you start the school year off right! Add to your back to school lists the words “medical” and “dental.” Make sure your child’s appointments are up to date. This includes a school dental visit with your doctor. Help us educate the public about the relationship between oral health and school performance. Encourage our school officials to have mandatory, school-entrance dental exams for all those children without an active, responsible dental home. Support legislation that advocates school dental exams — along with medical exams too– before matriculation to different schools, since different ages of patients have different issues.