Study shows poor oral health affects school performance – Oral Health Watch

As children head back to school, policymakers and parents need to be aware of the importance of protecting children’s oral health.

New research conducted by the University of Southern California and reported in Medical Daily provides further evidence that dental disease negatively affects the ability of children to perform well in school.

The study examined 1,500 children from low-income families in Los Angeles.  The oral health of these children was analyzed in comparison to their academic achievement and attendance record.   Not surprisingly, the children suffering from dental pain were four times more likely to have a lower grade point average compared to others.  The study also showed the poor oral health leads to more school absences primarily because of a lack of access to dental care.

The study provides more proof that good oral health increases a child’s ability to thrive and do well in school.  If we want children to succeed in school and in life, preventing dental disease and ensuring that children have access to dental care must be a priority.

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Oral Health Watch does not provide dental care and cannot provide direct referrals. To find dental care in your area, please visit our resources page. Please contact Oral Health Watch for more information about our programs and oral health in Washington State