The Children's Dental Health Project's blog
JADA editorial highlights impact of oral health problems on education
In the most recent issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), CDHP founder Dr. Burton Edelstein reiterates that no matter how we measure it, the impact of oral health on children’s success is significant. While determining the number of school hours lost to dental problems may be tricky, Dr. Edelstein notes that children’s educational achievement is suffering as a result of preventable tooth decay.
Citing research spanning more than a century, Dr. Edelstein’s editorial makes clear that tooth decay disproportionately affects economically disadvantaged children, causing them pain that distracts from learning, making them nearly three times more likely to miss school than their peers who get the care they need, and significantly reducing their performance in class overall.
Both research and common sense dictate that, regardless of how we quantify the relationship between education and oral health, as long as children are needlessly suffering from dental disease, they’ll never reach their full potential. The effects of poor oral health and impeded learning are inextricably linked and can last a lifetime.
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