Children are returning to school across the United States. Parents are scrambling to make last-minute preparations, including rounding up exhaustive lists of school supplies for the new school year. Medical physicals are often part of the preparation puzzle. Unfortunately, too many parents forget the importance of dental checkups prior to the school year. Dental checkups – received under the care of a family dental clinic — should be part of every parent’s back to school preparation list, and in this article, we’ll illustrate several benefits to this preparatory step.

Benefits of a Back-to-School Dental Checkup

Dentists around the country are urging parents to consider dental checkups as a critical component of back-to-school preparation. There are several important benefits of a dental checkup for children of any age, as routine visits to the dentist can identify potential problems before they become worse. Here are some reasons for parents to consider about a back-to-school dental checkup:

  • Dental diseases can disrupt sleep – school-age children need plenty of sleep. Struggling with a tooth or gum disease can rob children of that important sleep, leading to poor performance at school. A checkup can pinpoint oral health problems and the dentist can get treatment started quickly to correct the underlying condition.

  • Dental issues can be painful – having a toothache is no fun, and pain in the mouth can cause a child to lose concentration when he or she should be paying attention to the teacher. Getting a checkup before going back to school can eliminate this possibility, ensuring a healthy mouth and great concentration for the school year.

  • Dental problems can create absences – numerous studies have shown that excessive school absences are a warning sign for poor school performance. Get a dental checkup for your children now – before school starts — to avoid those absences, and help them get the education they need.

The benefits of a dental checkup are many. During the checkup, dentists have the opportunity to spot problems, create treatment plans, and to have the child’s teeth cleaned. Spotting cavities before they get worse helps to avoid painful procedures down the road. Routine checkups also create positive habits, giving children the understanding that visits to the dentist are important for oral health. And, during the checkup, dentists are able to provide education and tips to children, helping them to take care of their own teeth and gums with brushing techniques and flossing.

Are Back-to-School Dental Checkups Required?

In general, dental checkups are not required for kids returning to school after a long summer. However, it is important to note that in some school districts in the U.S., a dental checkup is required to participate in sports, just as a medical physical exam is required. This is somewhat uncommon, but can spell the difference between participating and sitting on the bench.  

With the many benefits of regular dental checkups, it is clear that this step should be part of the bac-to-school preparation process. Make sure your youngster is ready for his or her new school year with a visit to the family dental clinic!

If you are located in or near Raleigh, North Carolina, Thomas E. Cooke DDS would be happy to serve you and your family.