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Life Lessons: Tooth Truths

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 17 2013 04:00:00 AM CDT

Life lessons tooth truths

We all know it's important to brush our teeth, but there are a few things you might not know about taking care of your smile.

The American Dental Association put a pop quiz together to see just how much people know about dental hygiene.

They say nine out of ten adults have had cavities in their permanent teeth and dental disease is the most common chronic disease in kids.

With statistics like that, the Dental Association wants to help everyone get the facts.

First question: how often should you floss?

The answer? Once a day!

Question two, how often should you replace your toothbrush?

Sixty-five percent of people think twice a year. The answer is every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.

Here's another, at what age should you take your child to the dentist for the first time?

The answer is within six months after their first tooth appears. Seventy-five percent of people surveyed got this one wrong!

Dr. Martha Ann Keels, pediatric dentist says, "You should have a dental home, no different than a medical home, for your child by age one."

Another question, can cavity-causing germs be passed from person to person?

Yes, they can! Parents can pass bacteria to their kids by pre-chewing food, sharing utensils, or licking a pacifier to clean it. It's something almost 60-percent of people didn't know.

Our last question: how often should you brush? The ADA says brush twice a day, but 90-percent of people thought they should brush after every meal.

Final question....does sugar cause cavities? The answer? Not exactly.

Cavities are caused by germs in the mouth that feed on sugar and then produce acid which attacks tooth enamel. Over time the acid attacks weaken the enamel to the point where a cavity forms.

Pearly Whites