Back to School Dental Check Ups!

Posted on September 2, 2011

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It is back to school time and that means getting your kids new school supplies, hair cuts, immunization shots, medical check-ups…AND dental check-ups as well! You might be wondering why it is recommended to take your kids to the dentist before school starts so read along to find out why.

 

Dental decay (cavities) is the most common chronic childhood disease in America today. It is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hayfever. According to the Catalyst Institute’s report “The Oral Health of Massachusetts Children” published in January 2008, 31% of third grade children and 20% of sixth grade children in Suffolk county had untreated dental decay. Untreated dental decay in children can lead to problems chewing, problems in speech development, sleep disturbance, permanent teeth problems, extreme pain, spread of infection, extensive and costly dental treatment, and difficulty focusing and learning in a classroom environment. Data has shown that over 51 million school hours per year are lost because of dental-related illness (Gift, 1997) and children in pain are distracted and less able to learn (Schechter N., 2000).

 

If your child currently does not have a dental provider, consider visiting one of the many Boston Community Health Centers that offer dental services or one of the three premiere dental schools located in Boston that offer specialized pediatric services. For a full list of where to find low-cost dental care, check out the Boston Public Health Commission’s Office of Oral Health Resource Brochure available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Chinese, and Vietnamese (Link: http://www.bphc.org/programs/cib/chronicdisease/oralhealth/ohr/Pages/Home.aspx) or visit the Office of Oral Health’s Facebook page (Link: www.facebook.com/BostonOralHealth to get news on any upcoming free dental screenings taking place in a Boston neighborhood near you!

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