Oral hygiene is something that we all know is important, but there are a lot of misconceptions about oral care that have been passed down through generations. For example, many believe that fresh juice is a healthy alternative to soda for kids. Is that true? Today, we have Dr. Amirul Effendy from L&M Dental Clinic, who is also a father of three sons to share the truth about oral care for toddlers with all parents.\u00a0 Myth #1: It is okay for my child to drink fresh juice. Dr. Amirul Effendy: This is one of the common misunderstandings or challenges that parents have when it comes to fresh juices. Because for children, sometimes they are comparing sodas and fresh juices. When they are comparing just both of them, it seems that fresh juice is better. But in real fact, in fruit juice; the amount of sugar and acid inside is equivalent to or sometimes even more than soda. The real beneficial part of fruit juice is actually the fruit. When it is a fruit as a whole, it is good. But then, when you blend it to become fruit juice, it dissolves and breaks out the molecules in the fruit, making the natural sugar 'open up'.\u00a0 So, for any type of sugar, whether it is natural or artificial, dental wise, is not that good. It\u2019s always advisable to give actual fruits rather than juices. Myth #2: Kids can brush their own teeth with no supervision. Dr. Amirul Effendy: Normally, the answer would be quite surprising. But, as a dentist, we advise parents to supervise their children when they brush until the age of seven, even though most kids start to have the habit to brush themselves when they reach three to five years old. But, imagine we ask our children to write ABC, as simple as ABC. Anyone who is below seven years old, their \u201cA\u201d is not straight because they don\u2019t have the hand skills to write it straight and their writing is not nice. Most of them can start to write properly when they are in primary school.\u00a0So, let\u2019s say they want to write an A, but then, when they write, the A they have in mind is different from what they can produce. Because their hand skills are not there yet. So, when it comes to oral care, it\u2019s the same. They want to brush, let\u2019s say they know that there\u2019s cabbage debris got stuck at the back of their teeth, they want to brush that off, but then, do their hands have the skill to really reach there? They want to do it but the accuracy is not there. So, why seven? By seven, if they can write an A properly, then we know that what they think and what they can produce is almost there. So, that\u2019s why anywhere before seven, the best is, the parents actually not only supervise, but it\u2019s also better to touch up on brushing. This means you can let them brush themselves. After that, because we know that certain areas are not that clean, so a touch up would be better. You just have to clean up a little bit on the parts where they will miss. Myth #3: More toothpaste means better protection. Dr. Amirul Effendy: No, it\u2019s definitely not! That\u2019s not how it goes because normally, the more important thing in brushing would be the duration; how much you brush. Let\u2019s say if you finish one jar of candy, you cannot take the whole toothpaste to cover or counter the candies that you had. There is no difference between putting full and putting what we call pea-sized. Normally for children, we will suggest a rice grain-sized. Or just a smear layer on top of the toothbrush is sufficient especially for those who are below four or three years old. That\u2019s actually enough because the main cleaning component of brushing is the toothbrush. Meaning that, if you just apply toothpaste to your finger and put it there and hope for it to get clean\u2026no, it does not work! The cleaning part comes from the brush. So, the brushing part is more important. Myth #4: Toddlers can use adult toothpaste. Dr. Amirul Effendy: Yes, they can if they are able to spit. They can even use 1,000 ppm of fluoride (adult's toothpaste). "Is it okay if your child is not exposed to fluoridated toothpaste, let\u2019s say until four?" I think it is still okay because some parents especially those with two years old babies; when the teeth are fully formed, the parents will have difficulty making the children go brushing their teeth. So, some of them will just use tooth tissue, like they wrap a cloth around their finger and they will do a clean up; that would be okay, as the child is still not able to spit the toothpaste out. Myth #5: Toothbrush only needs to be changed once a year or when frayed. Dr. Amirul Effendy: Most of the time, I will tell my patients: You should change your toothbrush after using it 180 times. That means two times a day for three months. Why 180 times? Because based on some research, on average, when people use their toothbrush after 180 times or three months, there is a difference. The bristles would be opened up. So, why is it important and why is it that the old one is not good compared to the new one? Let's imagine when we sweep and the middle of the broom is opened up. And then when we sweep, what will happen? All the things go through the highway in the middle and the dirt will be left behind. Because the middle is open, so it will go through. Only the side gets cleaned. So, it is the same with the teeth. But then, the teeth are very small. And all the dirt and bacteria are in microns. We will miss out on a certain area, at the sides or at the middle just because the bristles are opened up. When you see the bristles opened up, there are actually small spaces in between. So, all the dirt can just pass through and be left behind on the tooth surface. https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?va0zcUedljPI Encourage Good Dental Habits With MorningKiss Junior MOPEA Starter Kit MorningKiss Junior MOPEA Starter Kit is your kids\u2019 perfect start to healthy oral care. It is gentle on growing gums and contains no SLS, Parabens, Fluoride and Saccharin making it very convenient for kids and parents. MOPEA is every kids\u2019 dental best friend. When MOPEA is around, you can always count on him to make oral care a fun time for your kids. We hope we've helped you gain some valuable insights and bust some myths on oral care for toddlers with Dr Amirul. Stay tuned for more parenting tips and more with our next AskMeDoctor!\u00a0episode. Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice from Motherhood. For any health-related concerns, it is advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or medical practitioner. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!