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Incoming Illinois Freshmen Among Students Who need Dental Exams

Posted on August 2, 2019 in Children’s Oral Health


family on couchParents of children in elementary, middle and high school are encouraged to schedule a dental appointment this summer before the 2019-2020 school year begins.

Illinois children going into kindergarten, second, sixth and ninth grades are required to get a dental exam. A new state law expanded the requirement to incoming freshmen for the upcoming school year. Dental checkups are now required for approximately 150,000 incoming Illinois ninth graders.1

“There is a connection between children’s oral health and their overall performance in school,” said Dr. Sheila Strock, vice president, dental services and science officer at Delta Dental of Illinois. “Regular visits to the dentist can help detect potential problems before they start affecting your child’s attendance and grades.”

Cavities and other dental problems can be a distraction in the classroom, making it difficult to participate and concentrate. Nationally, elementary and high school students miss an average of more than two days of school each year due to dental problems. In addition, students with recent tooth pain are four times more likely to have a grade point average below the median of 2.8.2,3 

Preventive measures taken during a regular dental exam include a teeth cleaning and check for cavities, gum disease and any unusual findings in the mouth or on the face and neck.

“Regular preventive checkups can help you and your children stay on top of your oral and overall health,” Strock said. “You don’t want oral health problems to get in the way of all the excitement in store for your child this coming school year. Don’t delay. Schedule a dental exam today.”

Find a Delta Dental of Illinois dentist near your home, work or school with our Find a Dentist tool.

1 Illinois Report Card, Illinois State Board of Education, https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/state.aspx?source=studentcharacteristics&source2=enrollment&Stateid=IL

2 Colgate/American Dental Association, “Poor Oral Health Can Mean Missed School, Lower Grades,” https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/ada-08-poor-oral-health-can-mean-missed-school-lower-grades

3 Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, https://dentistry.usc.edu/2012/08/10/poor-oral-health-can-mean-missed-school-lower-grades/