Dental Kidspeak

3 children on couch

In healthcare lingo, dentistry exists as a specialty to assist people in the prevention and treatment for dental disease.  The main causative agent dental disease is bacterial; an invisible and silent enemy for the most part.  Most of us are aware that left untreated, these bacteria eventually lead to quite painful and always inconvenient sequelae.  Now try to explain this to any average kid!  Their attention span is on the level of nano seconds and their medical knowledge is generally limited to assorted boo-boos.  Understanding the importance of using brush, floss and rinse every day is obvious to adults (although compliance can be iffy), but kids can’t even spell bacteria, much less understand the biochemistry of their acidic byproducts.  Drs Hill and Schneidmiller have found a couple catch phrases that seem to make sense for a lot of little guys, especially the preschoolers.  “It is true that bacteria aka sugar bugs can’t be seen or heard, but they do have an….odor.  In fact, it’s kinda like other bad smells the body can make after we eat (use your imagination here); can’t see those smells and can’t always hear them.  Did you know that after bacteria eat leftover food between our teeth, they make stinky odors?  Well, we CERTAINLY don’t want THAT in our mouths, so we brush the bad bacteria out!!!”  And the piece de resistance…wad up used dental floss and let them have a sniff.  Yikes!  Maybe some of those non-compliant adults could benefit from this as well!

Leave a Reply