Fun dental facts for kids

  • Published
  • By Maj. James Koll
  • 22nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron

Did you know that 50 percent of people say a smile is the first thing they notice about someone? Smiling can represent confidence and an overall state of happiness for people of all ages. Children seem to have the right idea; they smile on average 400 times per day! 


February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and we, in the profession, believe 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. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits help 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 and fastest 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 dentist before their first birthday. Dental visits every six months, starting at a young age, will 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 do not have the motor skills to brush effectively until they are 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 or tablets are also good tools to help parents and 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. Below are a few fun and informative dental facts.


-73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss! 


-You miss cleaning 40% of your tooth surfaces when you skip flossing.


-The average person only brushes for 45-70 seconds at a time, the recommended amount is two to three minutes


-Americans did not brush their teeth every day until after World War II (WWII). During WWII, the military required soldiers to brush their teeth twice a day to keep their teeth healthy. 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. Keeping the tongue clean helps maintain fresh breath and reduces the chance of infection.


- To avoid airborne particles resulting from flushing, dentists recommend that a toothbrush be kept at least six feet away from a toilet.


-Americans choke on toothpicks more than any other object.


-Humans have 32 teeth, dogs have 42 teeth, cats have 30 teeth, pigs have 44 teeth, and an armadillo has 104 teeth.


- In the United States, children miss more than 51 million hours of school each year due to dental related illness. This is preventable!  Please take some time this month to talk with your children about their oral health. If you have any questions regarding your child’s dental health, please contact McConnell Dental Clinic at (316) 759-5181 or your local dentist office.