New research links bright smiles to better school performance. So what’s the tie between healthy chompers and higher grades? A study by the Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, discovered students with toothaches from poor brushing habits were four times more likely to have lower grades than kids without pain. And a few cavities can lead to other problems: Children often miss at least two days of class due to dental drama.
Bottom line: “Dental disease always results in pain — and anyone in pain is less likely to perform well,” says study author Dr. Roseann Mulligan. Luckily, cavities and gum disease are preventable. “Encourage kids to take care of their teeth with good nutrition, and schedule regular dental checkups for them.” And don’t forget thorough brushing and flossing!