Well, if you blinked, it seems like you might have missed the better part of this summer. Back to school is only a matter of a couple of weeks away! Whatever you did this summer, we hope you enjoyed your time with family and friends.

Of course, back to school does mean taking the time to purchase those essential school supplies. We certainly agree that this is an important task. Well, in the midst of all the paper, pens, binders and backpacks, may we suggest you squeeze in a bit of time to bring your children to the dentist for a back to school check-up?

Think about it…you rush around to get all the right supplies for your kids so they can start the school year off right. Have you ever thought that starting the school year off right also means making sure they start it in good oral health?

There is a good reason to take the time to visit the dentist before school starts. Amongst school-aged children in North America today, oral health has become one of the greatest health care issues. It may not get the same publicity as other health issues, such as childhood obesity. And while we certainly do not want to downplay the seriousness of inactivity and obesity amongst our children today, oral health care is just as important an issue in our opinion.

The reality is that dental care issues are one of the biggest reasons children miss time from school. The pain associated with tooth decay and gum disease is very real and can keep children at home. Kids who miss more class time tend to have lower marks.

Even if the pain is not keeping your child home from school, any level of oral discomfort will likely affect your child’s ability to concentrate. And poor concentration also leads to poor marks!

A check up before school starts will allow your dentist to diagnose any early signs of oral health care issues. This means you can address them before they become a more serious issue and before they interfere with your child’s performance in school.

And if tooth decay or gum disease are not problems for your child, perhaps orthodontics may be in the future. Discussing this with your dentist and starting treatment before school begins can help avoid missed class time.

So start the school year off right by including a visit to the dentist to make sure your children have a clean bill of dental health. By booking now, your dentist may still have the time to deal with any problems before the school year starts.

That means you can be confident that your child is heading into the school year without the worry of missing classes. Because getting to class and achieving good marks in school are healthy habits…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr.  Peter Georgopolous

Dental Surgeon