Tooth decay is the most common chronic diseases in children aged six to 19 years. In adolescents, it’s four times more common than asthma. Did you know that this widespread problem affects more than just their health? It also affects academic performance.
According to a USC study, poor oral health, dental disease, and tooth pain can place kids at a serious disadvantage in school. The 2012 study of nearly 1,500 disadvantaged elementary and high school children in the LA Unified School District showed that:
Children who reported having tooth pain were four times more likely to have a low GPA compared to those without oral pain. Poor oral health is linked to more school absences and missed work for parents. 11% of children with limited access to dental care missed school due to poor oral health, as opposed to 4% of children with access to dental care. Children who attend school regularly in spite of dental caries may still suffer in performance due to pain and distractedness. Ongoing dental issues can also have a negative impact on self image.
How We’re Helping
At Alameda Pediatric Dentistry, we believe that proper care and guidance in the early years can help prevent the negative cycle of tooth decay. That’s why our staff has participated in several outreach projects, both locally and around the world.
On Give Kids a Smile Day, our dentists volunteer to administer fillings, crowns, and sealants to families that cannot afford care. Throughout the year, our Tooth Fairy Island heroes visit Bay Area schools to lead fun, hands-on, and age-appropriate exercises about good oral health.