Regular trips to the dental clinic may not be such an inviting thought for some people, especially for those who have anxiety and fear of dentists. While prevention and treatment of dental problems are primary reasons to visit your dental care provider, some studies show that oral health may also have an impact in terms of how well you perform in school.
So, before you skip your next session of fluoride varnish treatment, here are some things to take note of when it comes to how your dental health can affect your academic performance:
- Attendance concerns. Poor oral health has a lot of serious consequences. School attendance may be one of those. Pain caused by tooth decay and infection can be so severe at times that it may require you to be hospitalized or to stay at home. As a result, it may also be a reason for your missed school days, as compared to your classmates who do not suffer from dental concerns. A correlation between missed school days and dental health has been noted, shedding light on the academic impact and importance of oral health. Overall, your chances of completing a perfect attendance in class may be increased (as you get toothache-free days), if you take better care of your teeth.
- Self-esteem and speech. Psycho-social well-being is also attributed to dental health concerns. The greater the dental problem, the more you can get isolated or withdraw socially, especially from your academic peers. Aside from emotional instability arising from experienced dental pain and discomfort, you might feel embarrassed if you have problems with your teeth. Smiling and speaking properly may be limited or even impossible, especially for those with problems in their front teeth. On the contrary, if you have a complete and well-maintained set of teeth, you may feel more confident when it comes to speaking and expressing yourself in class.
- Cognitive development. Certain studies investigated the link between cognitive status and oral health. More than a direct correlation between oral disease and mental health, however, poor oral health can definitely affect your brain’s development as it can influence eating habits and nutrition. If you have missing or painful teeth, your diet may be restricted only to certain foods that you can chew. This presents a problem as some important nutrients for brain development (aka brain food) can be acquired through a diverse and complete diet.
Taking care of your pearly whites may give you more than just shiny and perfect teeth as your reason to smile. It can also be a means to help you perform better in school, as proper oral hygiene and care can lead to better overall health. If your teeth are free from dental problems such as tooth decay, pain from infection, or discoloration, school absences may be lessened and you are more likely to participate in class. Having a complete and pain-free set of teeth may also give you better and wider food options. This, in turn, can help you achieve a nutritionally-diverse diet that is optimal for your brain’s development.
Author Bio: Originally from the U.S., Rana Tarakji is the founder of One SEO – a link building company – and a web content specialist who now lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon. Rana’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications in print and online, including Life Hacker, Upwork, Christian Today, Newswire, and many other outlets.