Cavity fact or myth: do your patients know the difference?

Posted on by Jen McGuire | Category Recare, Total Health

Myths or Facts Concept
The Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) released the results of their survey of over 1,000 US adults and found most were misinformed and confused about the prevention and transmission of caries. This confusion contributes to the continuing prevalence of tooth decay in this country. 95% of adults will have had decay in their permanent teeth by age 65. Assess your patients’ knowledge of this disease and fill in their gaps with truth, not myth to help them avoid a lifetime of decay.

You have some control over whether or not you get a cavity.   FACT
Over 40% of U.S. adults surveyed believe they have little or no control over whether they get a cavity. Empower patients with their own ability to maintain their oral health and give families the knowledge and tools that support the habits needed for lifelong health.

The most common chronic disease affecting U.S. children and teens is diabetes.   MYTH
Only 7% of Americans know that preventable tooth decay is the most common chronic disease affecting kids. Tooth decay is the most common chronic health condition of childhood, and 2 to 3 times more common than childhood asthma or obesity.

The bacteria that cause tooth decay can be transmitted from parent to child.   FACT
82% of respondents are unaware that babies are not born with the strains of bacteria that cause decay, these bacteria are transmitted through the saliva of family members by sharing foods, utensils, and kisses.

The sugar in natural fruit juice can contribute to childhood cavities.   FACT
46% of adults answered incorrectly. Educate your patients about the damage that can occur from bathing teeth in sugars by drinking sweetened drinks such as juice or soda throughout the day.

If left untreated, tooth decay can cause health problems in other parts of the body.   FACT
24% did not believe this statement was true. Patients should understand that oral health is not isolated from the rest of the body, it is connected to systemic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

A parent should begin brushing their child’s teeth at age 3.   MYTH
41% answered this as true, but the American Academy of Pediatrics and the AAPD recommend parents clean infant mouths and gums regularly with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. In fact, one quarter of all 3-yearolds already have decay in process, so infant oral health and prevention is critical.

Educate your patients and your community about the serious impact of tooth decay. Prevention begins with education. To learn more about motivating patients to improve their oral health, request a free Total Health presentation in your office.

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