It’s not just your dentist who can recognize bad oral health. Surprisingly, your child’s teacher might be the one to recognize problems with his or her teeth considering they spend almost 40 hours a week together. Teachers learn a lot about children’s development over the years, including the problems that arise in the classroom due to a lack of proper dental care.
After all, good teachers aren’t just developing children’s minds — they’re overseeing their entire development. Sometimes it’s unclear the benefits that proper dental care can have on a growing child, but many teachers say they can usually tell when a child’s teeth aren’t getting the proper care within just a few months of them being in her class. The warning signs that may present themselves in the classroom are significant: behavioral issues, low self-esteem, and at worst, delayed physical development.
Effects on Behavior and Self-Esteem
As most teachers of young children will tell you, the effects of poor oral care on a child’s development are serious. First there are the behavioral issues. A child suffering from dental pain has trouble concentrating during class, and he or she may be increasingly irritable after nights of bad sleep caused by a throbbing tooth. These children aren’t “disruptive” — sometimes, they’re merely suffering from the results of poor dental care.
A child’s self-esteem can also be greatly affected by the state of their teeth. Children with poor oral health may feel embarrassed about how their teeth look. In some extreme cases, children are ashamed to smile, laugh or speak during class. Fear of teasing or embarrassment from peers interferes with learning in a big way. Problems like these can go beyond a little shyness: they can affect a person’s self-esteem for a lifetime.
Physical and Long-Term Health Effects
It may be surprising, but poor oral care in children can even affect their physical development. Tooth pain can affect what, or how often, your child eats, which can lead to a poor or unbalanced diet. Sore teeth or gums could mean your child is refusing to eat broccoli for a very valid reason. And all those sleepless nights break into the crucial ingredient for a child’s growth and development — a good, full night’s sleep, every night.
The effects of poor oral health care have long term effects on your child’s health, as well. Tooth decay that begins at an early age can lead to a host of severe health problems later on in life — like increased risks of heart disease, dementia, diabetes, respiratory disease and even complications in pregnancy. It’s hard to imagine such issues when your child is young, but we believe if every parent knew how vital brushing and flossing were to their child’s overall health — now and as they age — we would see far less tooth decay in children.
Protect Your Child’s Teeth
Children’s teeth are so precious, but decay can begin with the very first one. Dentists recommend a child’s first checkup occur around the time their first tooth erupts, with regular visits occurring no later than the age of two. Good oral health practices are vital to your child’s wellbeing beginning with the most basic dental advice: regular brushing and flossing. Make sure your child is using the proper techniques to clean his or her teeth–it’s a good idea to observe them until you’re fully confident they’ve developed clean teeth habits. And good dental care is about more than brushing and flossing. Your child should visit your family dentist twice a year, whether you think they really need a checkup or not. Establishing these healthy habits early — and maintaining them for the duration of your child’s formative years — are key to establishing a lifetime of good oral care.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Good dental care is vital — don’t delay your child’s overall health by making this one mistake. Monitor your child’s brushing and flossing habits until you’re confident he or she is using good techniques, and schedule twice-a-year checkups with your family dentist. Have you made your child’s back-to-school appointment yet? Call our Los Fresnos dental office today.