Developing good tooth brushing and flossing habits in childhood can have numerous benefits for a child’s oral health and overall wellbeing.
Studies have shown that:
Poor oral health can have a significant impact on a child’s academic performance, leading to missed school days, reduced concentration and lower grades.
Tooth decay and other oral health problems can cause pain, discomfort, and embarrassment, which can make it difficult for children to focus on their studies.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that children with poor oral health were nearly three times more likely to miss school due to dental pain than children with good oral health.
The same study found that children who missed school due to dental pain were more likely to perform poorly academically, with lower grade point averages and higher rates of grade repetition.
Another study published in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry found that children who received regular dental care and had good oral hygiene practices had better academic performance than children with poor oral health. The authors of the study suggest that this may be due to the fact that good oral health reduces absenteeism and improves children’s ability to concentrate and learn.
Given the link between good oral health and academic performance, it is important for parents and educators to promote good oral hygiene habits in children from an early age.
This can include regular brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups, and education on the importance of good oral hygiene. By prioritizing oral health, parents and educators can help children succeed in school and beyond.
Jackson, S. L., Vann, W. F. Jr, Kotch, J. B., Pahel, B. T., Lee, J. Y., & Impact of Poor Oral Health on Children’s School Attendance and Performance. American Journal of Public Health, 101(10), 1900-1906.
Poor oral health has been linked to a range of systemic health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections.
Periodontal disease, a chronic bacterial infection of the gums, has been linked to cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. Studies have shown that people with periodontal disease have an increased risk of heart disease, and the risk is even higher for those with severe periodontal disease. Additionally, periodontal disease has been linked to preterm birth and low birth weight babies, which can lead to a range of health problems for the newborn.
Poor oral hygiene has also been linked to respiratory infections, including pneumonia. Oral bacteria can be aspirated into the lungs, leading to infections and other respiratory problems. In fact, studies have shown that poor oral hygiene is a significant risk factor for developing ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in hospitalized patients.
Lastly, poor oral hygiene has been linked to diabetes, which is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Research has shown that people with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease, and conversely, people with periodontal disease are more likely to have poorly controlled diabetes.
Gaur, S., & Nayak, R. (2011). Underlying factors for poor oral health status in orphan children of Udaipur district, Rajasthan, India. International Journal of Dental Hygiene, 9(3), 196-200.
Good Hygiene Habits and Self Esteem
There is a growing body of research that suggests that good dental health can have a positive impact on a child’s self-esteem and overall well-being. Here are some studies that support this idea:
- A study published in the Journal of Dental Research found that children who received regular dental care and had better oral health were more likely to report higher levels of self-esteem and self-confidence than those with poor oral health. The authors suggest that this is because good oral health can help children feel better about their appearance and improve their social interactions.
- Another study published in the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry found that children with poor oral health were more likely to experience negative emotions such as shame, embarrassment, and anxiety. The study also found that children who had received dental treatment reported higher levels of self-esteem and satisfaction with their appearance.
- A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry found that children who had good oral health were more likely to have a positive attitude towards dental care and were more willing to engage in oral hygiene practices. This, in turn, can lead to better oral health and greater self-esteem.
Overall, these studies suggest that good dental health can have a positive impact on a child’s self-esteem, confidence, and emotional well-being. By promoting good oral hygiene habits and regular dental care, parents and caregivers can help children feel better about themselves and their appearance, leading to better overall health and well-being.