As a parent, you probably already know how important it is for your child to have healthy teeth and gums. But you may not know all the other ways in which your kids will benefit from good oral health.
Here are even more reasons why you should encourage your children to practice good oral hygiene and make sure they visit their dentist on a regular basis for oral exams and professional cleanings:
- Oral health is closely related to overall health. Good oral health ensures that your child won’t experience difficulties with eating, speaking, and proper breathing. When a child feels embarrassed about his or her teeth and are hesitant to smile, it has a negative effect on self-esteem. Generally speaking, children with poor oral health are typically more prone to other health problems as well.
- Healthy teeth and gums can result in better psychological health. We mentioned how having an unattractive smile can affect a child’s self-esteem, but the connection goes much further than you might think. In fact, studies show that kids with poor oral health are much more prone to developing a myriad of psychological problems – from irritability to withdrawal to intense shyness to depression and much more.
- Learning ability can be diminished in children with poor oral health. Studies show that kids with poor oral hygiene habits and/or diminished oral health often have lower grades and poorer school attendance than kids with good oral health.
- Unhealthy teeth and gums can lead to other health issues in adulthood. Habits that are formed in childhood – good or bad – are typically carried on throughout the lifetime of the individual. When kids learn good oral hygiene practices and are accustomed to visiting the dentist on a regular basis, they’re much more likely to continue with those routines as adults. Likewise, kids with poor oral hygiene who rarely visit the dentist typically continue those unhealthy habits as they age. Many studies show the correlation between gum disease and other chronic illnesses in adults – such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke – so kids with poor oral health are more likely to develop these more serious problems when they become adults.
As parents, we all want our kids to have healthy teeth and gums. But, as it turns out, the oral health of your children can have far-reaching impacts that you may never have even considered. To avoid those problems, encourage your children to maintain daily oral hygiene, and be sure they visit their dentists routinely.