Back to School Checklist: A Healthy Smile


A fresh, new school year has started up once again (or maybe it’s coming up very soon where you live). Many parents are scrambling to get their children back into the groove of going back to hybrid or 100% in-person classes. This means helping your kids get back on a school-friendly sleep schedule, buying them a new backpack and other school supplies, and making sure they have clothing they fit in for this year. All of these things are on just about every person’s checklist. Another often disregarded but vital back to school checklist item? It’s to obtain a healthy smile. Great teeth and gums couldn’t be more important. If anything, they’re just as important as making sure your child has paper and pencils for class. Let’s discuss more why a healthy smile should be a big concern for this school year.

A Student’s Smile Matters

Just about everyone knows what good oral health can do for them. Pretty teeth can boost a person’s confidence. A good set of pearly whites can help one with the act of chewing and speaking. Those with healthy teeth are also more likely to not suffer from cavities and other dental-related complications that would otherwise cause pain, bleeding, swelling, and other ailments. But those are just the simple things that great teeth and gums can do for someone.

It turns out, a healthy smile can have a lot more benefits than just the latter. Great teeth can have mind-blowing benefits on school children alone. The results might just shock you! To understand how good teeth can gums can help students, it’s important to discuss why unhealthy teeth can pose opposite results on school children. Quickly, you will understand the benefits of adding a healthy smile to your child’s back to school checklist.

How Bad Teeth Can Destroy Students’ Grades

Think about it: what does poor oral health do to children? If you have a kid with, say, frequent toothaches or recurring cavities, you know that pain is a big issue. Your child might cry or frequently complain about their aches and pains. They may become fussy and moody. So, imagine your child trying to sit in class and concentrate on their studies. The worse the discomfort, the harder it will be for them to do a good job in school. Over time, their tooth problems might reflect their grades, even if the pain isn’t per se intense. Everyone who has dealt with oral health pain knows how distracting, annoying, and aggravating it can be.

Frequent oral health-related issues also often mean that your child has to go to the dentist more often. Even if it’s just one or two appointments out of the school year to get cavities drilled and filled, this can take precious time out of your kid’s school day. The less your child is present in class, the more they may struggle to keep up with their peers. Eventually, they might find themselves lost and confused. Not every teacher is good at making sure that all their students remain on the same page.

What is more, students with bad teeth are more likely to get bullied and have difficulty making friends. They might find their confidence destroyed and their anxiousness at an all-time high. It has been proven time and time again that anxiety and stress can have poor effects on children’s learning. In this case, their anxiety might be a direct result of their teeth and gum-related problems. Even from a very young age, kids have the capability to feel self-conscious.

Healthy Teeth Can Help Students Learn

Considering the latter, one can assume that healthy teeth and gums can have a benefit on students. In fact, good oral health is thought to be linked to greater intelligence. More confidence is one aspect that often helps lead to a student’s better grades, which can be linked to healthy, beautiful teeth. In addition, those who have little to no missing permanent teeth are said to have more gray matter volume in their brains when compared to those who have poor oral health.

While it’s true that not all children are born with the best oral health genes, great teeth often starts with caring for them. This makes it even more apparent why a healthy smile should be on every child’s back to school checklist.

What’s Involved in Getting Healthier Teeth?

No matter the state of your child’s teeth and gums at present, getting healthier teeth is always a possibility. That all starts with making sure your child knows how to care for their teeth from the start and providing them the tools that they require.

Whether your child is in kindergarten or is a freshman in high school, it’s critical that they’re brushing and flossing on a regular basis. This means brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. Sometimes children fail to care for their teeth because of bad habits they were taught while young or even as an act of rebellion during their teenage years. Either way, a gentle reminder or a bit of praise can go a long way. Other times, children and teens might need a bit of a deeper intervention regarding caring for their pearly whites.

While the latter tasks are vital, getting and keeping healthy teeth involves so much more than just that. A big part of getting healthier teeth is consuming better foods and beverages. Kids should avoid sweets (especially hard, sticky ones) as much as possible, as well as coffee, soda, and energy drinks. Healthy foods and beverages like apples, celery, milk, cheese, low-sugar granola bars, and coconut water should be suggested. Part of getting your child to eat better is to get fill your refrigerator and pantry with healthier foods. Equally important is schooling your kids on nutrition and how it can directly impact the health of their teeth and gums. One day, they will be completely in charge of their own oral health and diet.

Last but not least, obtaining better oral health can be done by making regular visits to the dentist. For most people, this means seeing the dentist twice a year, or every six months. A deep cleaning, a check for cavities and other oral health issues, as well as advice from the dentist, all make a big impact. Starting these regular visits off early is absolutely critical. So, make it apart of your child’s back to school checklist now.

Put a “Healthy Smile” on the Top of Your Child’s Back to School Checklist

It’s true that making sure your children are prepared with the supplies they need is important when starting a new school year. But it is just as important to make sure that your child has a beautiful, functional set of pearly whites. Remember: health and smarts start from within. When your child is healthy from the inside, then they will be able to go on to make great achievements. We all want our children to pass school with flying colors and succeed in all areas of their life. So, it’s our responsibility to do something about it.

Does your child suffer from poor or concerning oral health? Contact your child’s local dentist today to see what can be done. Even if your kiddo is dealing with oral health concerns that are very minor, getting these under control now can make a big difference later. Children deserve the opportunity of a beautiful, healthy smile that will give them the confidence, happiness, and intelligence they need to prosper.