Poor oral health tied to school absences

Dental problems caused more than 30 percent of students to miss time in the classroom, according to a new survey.

Delta Dental conducted a survey of parents across the country; 31 percent of parents said their children between the ages of 6 and 12 had to miss school due to an oral health problem.

“These statistics are consistent with what I’m seeing, but unlike other childhood diseases, cavities are preventable,” said Joel Berg, a board certified pediatric dentist, in a news release from Delta Dental.

The survey asked parents how much school their kids missed due to oral health issues.

-18 percent said children missed at least half a day of school.

-4 percent missed one day.

-4 percent missed two days.

-6 percent missed three or more days.

Children in the Northeast racked up the most absences – 36 percent of parents said their kids missed school – followed by the South (33 percent), Midwest (28 percent) and the West (28 percent).

In addition to causing kids to miss time in the classroom, dental problems can also impact early childhood learning, according to Delta Dental.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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