30 Percent of US Kids Miss More than 9 Million School Days Due to Oral Health

By Delta Dental Plans Association, Special for  USDR

In the midst of all the back-to-school chaos, parents across the nation have a lot on their minds: grades, their child’s friends, physical activity, and money. One of the top concerns? Oral health, according to a survey of the nation’s parents out today from Delta  Dental.

And with good reason. The data, a part of the National Children’s Oral Health Survey by Delta Dental Plans Association, finds that U.S. parents report 30 percent, or roughly 8.6 million, of their 6- to 12-year-olds have missed school due to an oral health problem (as opposed to a regularly scheduled dental  appointment).

Oral health impacting the classroom by the  numbers:

  • 9,067,082: Roughly the number of full school days missed by children due to an oral health problem, as reported by parents.
  • 4,029,814: The number of half days parents say their 6- to 12-year-olds missed.  
  • 71: Percent of parents that cite their child’s oral health as a top concern they think about daily, right up there with school grades (61 percent), personal finances (62 percent), child’s physical activity (55 percent), and with whom their child is friends (36 percent).

“For kids, oral health issues can mean a lot more than just a cavity. They can distract from schoolwork and lead to less time in the classroom, leaving kids with more ground to make up in their studies,” said Bill Kohn, DDS, vice president of dental science and policy at Delta Dental Plans Association. “Parents are concerned, but some simple steps can help make all the  difference.”

Delta Dental has the following tips to help kids stay on top of their oral  health:

  • Brush daily, using a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss to remove plaque, a major cause of both tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Eat a healthy diet, limit sugary and high refined carbohydrate foods and drinks.
  • Drink tap water (preferably fluoridated) instead of sugary sports drinks, soda pop, or fruit juices.
  • Get regular dental check-ups.

About the Survey: The Children’s Oral Health Survey was conducted between December 16th, 2015 and January 14th, 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 1,307 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 2.7  percent.

Follow us on Twitter @DeltaDental and Facebook: Delta Dental Plans  Association

About Delta Dental Plans Association
The nonprofit Delta Dental Plans Association, based in Oak Brook, Ill., is the national association of Delta Dental member companies, which collectively make up the nation’s leading dental benefits provider, with enrollment of more than 73 million Americans. For more information, visit our website at  deltadental.com.

SOURCE Delta Dental Plans  Association

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.