Children’s Dental Health, School Performance, and Psychosocial Well-Being

To assess the effects of dental health on school performance and psychosocial well-being in a nation-
ally representative sample of children in the US.
Study design
We analyzed data from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health for 40752-41988 children.
The effects of dental problems and maternal-rated dental health on school performance and psychosocial well-
being outcomes were evaluated using regression models adjusting for demographic, socioeconomic, and health characteristics.
Dental problems were significantly associated with reductions in school performance and psychosocial well-being. Children with dental problems were more likely to have problems at school (OR = 1.52; 95% CI: 1.37-1.72) and to miss school (OR = 1.42; 95% CI: 1.23-1.64) and were less likely to do all required homework (OR =0.76;
95% CI: 0.68-0.85). Dental problems were associated with shyness, unhappiness, feeling of worthlessness, and
reduced friendliness. The effects of dental problems on unhappiness and feeling of worthlessness were largest
for adolescents between 15 and 17 years.
Preventing and treating dental problems and improving dental health may benefit child academic
achievement and cognitive and psychosocial development.
(J Pediatr 2012;161:1153-9)

The above abstract is from The Journal of Pediatrics

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