Can Dental Health Affect The Mental Health Of Kids?

To recognize mental health awareness for kids this month, our professionals want to discuss how your dental health is tied to this topic. We all know a bright smile makes us feel more confident, regardless of our age.

Outside of appearance, the underlying issues with kids’ oral health can also affect their mental health. Here are just a few specific examples of how something as simple as a toothache can affect your child’s physical and emotional well-being:

  • Pain and discomfort: Dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, and toothaches can cause pain and discomfort, which can affect a child’s mood, behavior, and overall quality of life. Children who experience dental pain may become irritable, moody, or have trouble sleeping.
  • Difficulty eating: Oral health problems can make it difficult for children to eat certain foods, which can impact their nutrition and growth. This can lead to a lack of energy, poor concentration, and a weakened immune system, which can affect their mental health and overall well-being.
  • Absenteeism: Children with dental problems may miss school to attend dental appointments or due to pain and discomfort. They’re also more prone to physical ailments that can keep them from school, feel isolated and experience significant bouts of stress.
  • Stigma: Dental problems are sometimes stigmatized and associated with poor hygiene or lack of self-care. Children who experience oral health problems may feel ashamed or embarrassed, which can impact their mental health and ability to socialize with peers.
  • Fear and anxiety: Children who have negative experiences at the dentist or have had painful procedures in the past may develop fear and anxiety around dental visits. This can make it difficult for them to seek necessary dental care and can impact their mental health and well-being.

Preserving Their Overall Health

In addition to learning more about the connections between your child’s oral health and mental health, parents need to be proactive in addressing both. Just a few ways you can keep your child’s smile and mind healthy include:

Working with a dentist that specializes in dental anxieties faced by your child
Listening to your child when they express that they’re experiencing pain or discomfort
Making sure they follow their daily dental routine
Scheduling routine dental cleanings and examinations for them
Ensuring they consume a healthy and balanced diet to protect their overall health
Seeking mental health resources for them when you notice their mental health begins to impact their physical health negatively

If you’re seeking a compassionate and patient pediatric dental practice near Dallas, Texas, look no further than Rio Dental & Orthodontics. We can provide comprehensive dental care for your child in a stress-free environment.

We also accept most insurance plans, Medicaid, and CHIP and offer financing options for our services.

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You can play a part in preparing your child for his or her first visit to our office. Informing your child of the visit as an exciting experience for both of you can ease any hesitations. As a parent try to act relaxed, since your child may sense any anxiety on your part.

Explain to your child that the doctor will “count, brush, and maybe take pictures of their teeth”. We also ask that you assume the role of a silent observer. Cooperation and trust must be established directly between the doctor, staff, and your child and not through you. Your child may become confused if receiving instructions from multiple sources.

We recommend bringing your baby in for their first dental appointment by their first birthday, or within 6 months of their first tooth appearing (whichever comes first). During this appointment, we will examine your baby’s mouth to track their dental development and discuss age-appropriate dental care.

It’s easy to make appointments to visit our office online or over the phone. Rio Dental sees patients both for checkups and dental emergencies. Using our online scheduler, you can select the location and time slot that works best for you for either type of appointment. If you have any questions regarding our practice, or simply prefer to make your appointment with a live member of staff, please don’t hesitate to call!

Rio Dental Group accepts most PPO insurances. We recommend that new patients and returning patients with new insurance policies reach out to us before their appointment to confirm coverage. Our Fort Worth location also sees patients who are covered by Medicaid and CHIP programs.

We don’t like surprises, either! Our staff is prepared to discuss the cost of dental services before you undergo treatment so that you know what to expect in terms of fees. The cost of your services will be due at the end of your appointment. Our office accepts payment by cash, credit card, or check.

Rio Dental Group allows patients to pay with their CareCredit card. CareCredit is a healthcare credit card designed to cover out-of-pocket costs at over 225,000 providers nationwide. After leaving the office, card holders will be able to make convenient monthly payments towards their balance. To learn more, visit the CareCredit website.

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