Children’s oral health has a direct impact on their ability to learn. Early tooth loss results in impaired speech development, absence from and inability to concentrate in school, failure to thrive and reduced self-esteem. Poor oral health is connected to lower school performance, poor social relationships and less success later in life.
Children experiencing tooth aches are distracted and unlikely to score well on tests; however, they are also often unable to communicate their pain--even if a teacher notices them having difficulties in class. Some of the side effects of pain are anxiety, fatigue, irritability, depression, and withdrawal from normal activities.
Children’s school attendance and performance improve when their dental problems are treated, and they are no longer in pain. If children are in pain from toothaches, they are not able to concentrate and focus on the material in class. If they continuously miss school due to dental concerns, they are more likely to fall behind. Emphasizing the ‘brush, floss, rinse, chew’ method can help children get into a routine of dental care.
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