I looked for corroboration from other sources. Sure enough, the American Journal of Public Health published an article concluding, “Children with poor oral health status were nearly three times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain. Absences caused by pain were associated with poorer school performance.” And, the Pew Charitable Trust reported, “Tooth decay can have far-reaching effects on a child's life. Untreated decay can cause pain and infection that may lead to difficulty eating, speaking, socializing and sleeping, as well as poor overall health. Dental problems also negatively affect school attendance and performance.”
Also, the Children’s Dental Health Project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control, found that roughly one in seven children ages 6-12 suffer a toothache at some point and is likely to miss school due to dental pain, that dental problems were responsible for about one-third of elementary school absences and that children reporting toothaches were four times more likely to have a lower grade-point average than peers. Schedule a dental check-up for your child as part of back-to-school prep! Ask your child’s doctor for a referral to a dentist, if you don’t have one.
– Helen Susan Edelman, LiveSmart Project Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Times Union - Edited and written by Helen Edelman