Wednesday

Should Dental Care Be Emphasized More in Health Classes?


Health related issues can be a touchy subject in school. There is a fine line between the information that schools are required to impart and the lessons that parents are expected to teach their children at home. For example, many parents are take offense to the fact that schools provide sexual education courses to all children (although most will allow parents to pull their kids from these classes on the basis of religious or other grounds). But where do we draw the line? Doesn't every child deserve to learn about the body's reproductive capabilities and the changes they will undergo as they become adolescents and adults? And what about issues of personal health and hygiene? Do schools have the right to address these fundamental lessons or are they too personal? When the rights and responsibilities of parents overlap with the purview of schools there is bound to be controversy. But how far should schools go to ensure that kids receive the knowledge and skills they need to remain healthy? Is it even their job? When it comes to dental care, the answer seems to be no.


In truth, there are probably a couple of reasons why dental care is not covered as part of the average health class curriculum. For one thing, it is expected that kids will receive this information at home before they ever start attending school. Most parents will start teaching their kids to brush, floss, and rinse when they are toddlers in order to prevent them from developing cavities. And the onus is on parents to ensure that children are practicing proper oral hygiene and that they are receiving regular professional cleanings at the dentist.
Schools, on the other hand, are devoted to instructing children in academic subjects. While health classes are included in that equation to some degree, the amount of time devoted to this topic is often minimal, meaning that instructors must be choosy about the information covered. Often, oral health doesn't make the cut because there are more pressing concerns to address concerning overall health and physiological development.

But the question here is whether or not schools should provide more education when it comes to dental health. Should they supersede parental authority and discuss proper dental care, including procedures and risks? Do they have a right to warn kids about the dangers of drinking soda, the effects of gingivitis, and results of failing to get regular dental checkups? Although these are issues that parents should be addressing, there are plenty of kids out there with cavities and even worse oral health problems. Is it the responsibility of schools to step in and try to help these kids? After all, the detriments of damaging one's teeth at a young age could be extensive.

In truth, it is unlikely that schools will start tackling the topic of oral health and hygiene. You don't have to get a master of health administration online to know that such lessons are traditionally taught in the home sphere. So until the majority of children start showing up to school with rotten teeth, it is unlikely that academic institutions will devote time and money to such programs. Dental care is an important aspect of overall health, but the responsibility for seeing to the health of children lies predominantly with their parents.

1 comment:

Los Angeles Dentist said...

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