Fun Dental Facts for Kids

  • Published
  • By Maj. James Koll
  • 509th Medical Operations Squadron
Did you know that 50 percent of people say a smile is the first thing they notice about someone? Smiling represents confidence and an overall state of happiness for people of all ages. It seems children have the right idea … they smile on average 400 times per day!

Educating children about dentistry should be fun. Nearly 40 percent of all children are afraid to go in for a dental visit. By keeping a positive and consistent perspective on maintaining good oral hygiene, trips to the dental office will be much more enjoyable for everyone involved. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children to get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Here are three helpful hints for parents in regards to their children’s oral health:
-Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle. This is the easiest way to cause tooth decay (cavities) in small children. For photographic evidence, internet search “baby bottle tooth decay” and see for yourself.
-Bring your child to the dental office before their first birthday. Dental visits every six months starting at a young age will also help your child feel comfortable and even excited to go every time. It is very important to create positive dental experiences so children do not develop, “dental phobia”.
-Don’t let your children brush their teeth alone. Since most children don’t have the motor skills to brush effectively until they’re approximately 6 years old, parents need to supervise brushing and check to make sure every surface of each tooth is clean. Plaque-identifying mouth rinses and tablets are also good tools to help parents/children evaluate brushing effectiveness.

Maintaining good oral habits throughout childhood will contribute to a happy, healthy smile that may one day make a positive first impression in the future.

Below are a few fun and informative dental facts.
-73 percent of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss!
-If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 40 percent of your tooth surfaces.
-The average person only brushes for 45-70 seconds at a time, the recommended amount is two-three minutes
-Americans did not brush their teeth every day until after World War II. During WWII, the military required that soldiers brush their teeth twice a day to keep their teeth healthy. The soldiers brought that habit home after the war.
-The second most common disease in the United States is tooth decay. The first is the common cold.
-When we brush our teeth, we should also remember to brush our tongue. Did you know that just like our fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different?
-Dentists recommend that a toothbrush be kept at least six feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from flushing.
-A toothpick is the object most choked on by Americans.
-Dogs have 42 teeth, cats have 30 teeth, pigs have 44 teeth, and an armadillo has 104 teeth.

And last but not least …
-More than 51 million hours of school are lost each year by children due to dental related illness. This is preventable. Please take some time this month to talk to your children about their oral health. If you have any questions regarding your child’s dental health, please contact Whiteman Dental Clinic at 660-687-2201.