How do you help your child return to class confident and ready for their most successful year yet? West Maple Pediatric Dentistry is proud to be on your child’s team, and we have a few ideas to help your child make the grade this fall!
With the school year fast approaching, you’ve likely already ordered your child’s school supplies, a whole new wardrobe, the perfect lunchbox, and arranged the car pool.
Have you scheduled your child’s dental exam? Many schools require a signed record of care within 5 months of entering kindergarten and 7th grade. Poor dental health can cost children some of their education. A 2012 study* determined that just over 1/3 of missed school days in elementary school were due to tooth pain or oral health problems. These were only the cases they could link directly. The result of these missed days were academic penalties and an overall lower GPA than students who didn’t report oral health issues.
In fact, children who reported frequent tooth aches were four times as likely to have lower than average GPAs. The study showed that it was more than just a nagging issue. Chronic tooth aches can cause or contribute to a number of other problems including:
- Difficulty Eating and Sleeping
- Trouble Focusing
- Foul Breath
- Insecurity and Self-Consciousness
Children who have otherwise shown great aptitude are suddenly struggling in class, and they often have trouble identifying where the disconnect lies. When a child is in constant pain, they eventually stop noticing where it comes from and it can come off as agitation, impatience, and be recorded as a behavior issue and written off.
We don’t believe any child should be written off or denied their own potential! If your little one’s grades suddenly begin to suffer, bring them by for an exam. Most insurance covers our services, and we offer financing and accept Care Credit for whatever portion your insurance doesn’t cover!
If it’s not a toothache holding them back, what could it be?
It’s possible that your child isn’t keeping up as well because they struggle to see the front of the room. A visit with an optometrist can identify the need for corrective lenses and get your child back on track!
Growing children and active teens burn through calories significantly faster than adults. We joke about hangry toddlers and how their attitude suffers when they miss snack time, but it doesn’t become less true just because they aren’t home. Breakfast being “big” isn’t actually enough to counter your child’s hunger and resulting lack of focus. They need long-acting carbs and healthy fats to keep them satisfied through a long school day. Try foods like baked sweet potatoes, avocado, and bacon at breakfast to keep them full and focused, and almonds, apples, and jerky to snack on through the day to keep them satisfied and energized!
If you have ideas for healthy, fun, energizing lunch boxes, we would love to share them with our other readers! Share them to our page, tag us on Facebook, or email us your lunch box photos and ideas so we can share them with other families!
Believe it or not, in our abundant country, as many as 80% of people are under-hydrated. This leads to fatigue, brain fog, and irritability. Keeping a water bottle full and handy can make it easier to stay hydrated all day when running to the water fountain is often not an option. If your child struggles to get their 8-10 cups a day, try adding healthy flavors to their bottle with cucumber slices, crushed mint leaves, or frozen berries and grapes.
If your child is being treated poorly by their peers, their entire school experience will suffer, including their grades. Talk with administrators and counselors about getting your child the tools they need to counter harassment, and to address it with adults before it becomes a real problem.
If the grueling course load, long hours, and extra curriculars aren’t enough of a burden on students, part time jobs, homework, hobbies, and a social life are more than enough to put any child over the top. Add the allure of social media well into the early morning hours and it’s unlikely that your student is getting enough sleep.
Try setting limits on hours for social media, and even homework. Of course, kids can get sneaky, and you don’t want to feel like a nag, but it’s important that they know their best interests are still on your mind!
We know that you have a million things to worry about, and kids don’t come with a handbook. There is no way to do it “right”, even though it sometimes feels like there are a million ways to do it wrong. We just want to take a moment to tell you that you’re doing an amazing job! Thank you for letting West Maple Pediatric Dentistry be part of your amazing team!
*University of Southern California. “Poor oral health can mean missed school, lower grades.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2012.