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.