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Popular Dental Questions Answered for Kids

June 25, 2017

Dentist for ChildrenDental visits can be daunting for even the toughest adults. So, imagine that you're a kid (we've all been there) and remember how scary the sound of a drill is or the appearance of braces--yikes!

With little-to-no-knowledge as to why the preservation of our teeth and dental visits are important, children can imagine any number of horrific reasons about why people have to go to the dentist.

Probably the most popular question that children have is--why is sugar bad for my teeth?

Sugar, while delicious, is actually bad for our teeth. It is important for children to know that some of their favorite foods are packed with sugar.

Sugar acts as an acid which can dissolve the enamel on our teeth. Each time we eat one of our favorite snacks that is packed with sugar, the acid attack can last for up to 20 minutes.

The naturally-occurring bacteria in our mouth uses sugar as energy to multiply and stick themselves to the surface of a tooth. The unfortunate part about this is that over a period of time, this bacteria turns into plaque and eats away at our teeth’s enamel.

The tiny holes that eventually are made in the enamel are cavities—which are painful! If we do not treat the cavities, they will continue to grow.

While it is impossible to avoid sugar completely, we can help diminish the harmful effects of sugar by making sure we consistently brush and floss our teeth at least two times a day, per the American Dental Association.

It is important to limit the amount of sugary foods and snacks that we eat on a daily basis.

Food

Sugar

Kraft Chunky Peanut Butter

1g per 15g (1 tbsp)

Honey

16g per 15g (1 tbsp)

Ketchup

6g per 125mL

Pasta Sauce

6g per 125mL

Cheese Wiz

2g per 30g serving (2 tbsp)

Another popular question that children have is why do people need braces?

It’s a good question, and one that you should prepared to answer if your kids need braces down the line.

According to KidsHealth.org, children can need braces for any number of reasons--including crooked, overlapping, or overcrowded teeth, or a "bad bite" (known as malocclusion).

Malocclusion is the imperfect positioning of teeth when you close your jaw. These bad bites, better known as an overbite when the upper jaw is bigger than the lower jaw and an underbite when the lower jaw is bigger, can be fixed with braces.

Tooth and jaw problems can be inherited, so it is likely that if you needed braces, your kids will too.

It is important to note that starting the process of heading to the dentist early on doesn't necessarily mean that a child will get braces right away, but, it does mean that the orthodontist will be able to find any potential problems early on annd decide the best course of action and when the proper time to start treatment is.

And, if your children still have questions, you can share these tips from Elmo:

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