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Dental problems influence children’s school performance

Dental problems influence children’s school performance
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Toothaches caused by caries are the most common pains that children face, whether they are milk or permanent teeth. And these pains, in addition to the discomfort created for the little ones, even affect their school performance. Recent interdisciplinary studies warn of the direct link between dental pain and school absences, which are one of the main reasons why children miss classes.

A third of preschool children, who have decayed milk teeth, are prone to face the same problems in the case of permanent teeth, which start to erupt at 6 years old. And 40% of those between the ages of 6 and 11 have tooth decay, while the permanent teeth erupt completely by 12-13 years.

“Children who have poor oral health are absent 3 times more than their peers. Untreated caries can have a multitude of negative effects on the life of the little one, from restless sleep and feeding problems to growth delays and irritability. And when these caries become advanced and complicated, there is also a decrease in the power of concentration and attention, all of which subsequently lead to an increase in the number of absences from classes and a reduced school performance. At the same time, the first visit to the dentist of such a child will become a not very pleasant experience, there is even a risk that the little one will become anxious and develop a fear of the doctor, which will accompany him all his life. For this reason, we recommend parents to constantly schedule their children with the dentist, for preventive measures and early detection of caries. This does not involve additional costs, in our clinic the primary assessment is free”, explains Dr. Denisa Zaharia.

Advanced dental caries involve a much more complex, long-lasting and even more expensive treatment than if they had been treated in the early stages. Moreover, they can have long-term effects on the oral health of the little ones, because it can even lead to the extraction of an affected tooth. The free space thus created will later influence the positioning of all the teeth on the arch and, implicitly, the eruption of the permanent teeth. Dental aesthetics is also affected by the inharmonious development of the dental arches, which causes an incorrect bite and an imbalance at the level of the muscles and the temporomandibular joint.

Ignoring these problems in the long term can affect, from an aesthetic point of view, the quality of their life as teenagers, an age at which increasing self-confidence is very important. A problem tooth can be a trigger for the bullying phenomenon, and studies show that teenagers who are victims of this phenomenon develop antisocial behavior, integrate and empathize with others more difficult. An orthodontic treatment, which involves a non-invasive, simple and painless intervention, can eliminate all these possible aesthetic dental problems.

“Approximately 30% of appointments with the orthodontist are made by parents during the school holidays. Orthodontic treatments aim at applying dental appliances to correct all these problems. The most sought-after dental appliances for children are jaw-widening devices at 7-8 years old and fixed appliances, with metal brackets, which are applied around the age of 12. The duration of an orthodontic treatment varies depending on the severity of the changes, and the costs of fitting an appliance start from 1,000 lei and reach up to 7,000 lei for both arches, if one opts for an almost invisible appliance with sapphire brackets. The youngest patient of our clinic was 6 years old, and the orthodontic treatment involved the application of a jaw-widening device, in order to create space for the correct eruption of the permanent teeth”, says Dr. Denisa Zaharia, specialist orthodontist.


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