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Calling cavities "sugar bugs"?

My seven year old had to go to the dentist for a couple of cavities. The tech starts working and started calling his cavities "sugar bugs", which really annoyed me for some reason. It just seemed like such a babyish thing to do... the kid it SEVEN... not three. She must have said it at least 20 times during the visit. Gah!

Am I just being crabby about it or would it annoy you too?

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Asked by SleepingBeautee at 2:05 PM on Jul. 17, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 45 (192,108 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I haven't heard that in years! The dental assistant used it for my son, and he was 6 or 7. Didn't bother me a bit and actually helped put him a bit more at ease.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:07 PM on Jul. 17, 2013

  • Yes, I would hate that. I had a friend that's son was at the dentist and they mentioned sugar bugs and he was really freaked out about bugs being in his mouth. Like almost in a fit kind of freaked out. He was younger than 7 (I think I recall him being 4). I hate when people think they have to dumb things down for kids to understand.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 2:07 PM on Jul. 17, 2013

  • Ones around Herschel kids that sugar bugs cause cavities.

    Answer by idareyou at 2:11 PM on Jul. 17, 2013

  • When my 6yo was like 3 and he would ask why we had to brush I would say so the sugar bugs don't eat your teeth, but I have never heard of a professional saying it before.
    Saying it once, ok. But around 20 times? No matter what the phrase was it would get annoying after 20 times!

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 2:11 PM on Jul. 17, 2013

  • The pediatric dentist my kids go to use that term. Doesn't bother my kids, doesn't bother me. If you went to an adult dentist they wouldn't do that but I'm sure they get used to using the same terminology all the time and don't even think about it.

    Answer by missanc at 2:15 PM on Jul. 17, 2013

  • I've never heard that. My daughter has known what cavities were since she was three and had her first trip to the dentist. I don't know that it would have bothered me much, but it seems silly.

    The dentist did tell me that when he uses a drill for small kids, he calls it Mr. Motorcycle because of the way it vibrates, and he makes engine noises to let the kids know when the drill is coming. I thought that was rather clever.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:20 PM on Jul. 17, 2013

  • LOL! My Son's Dentist said the same thing. It annoyed me too! Not because it sounded babyish but because it sounds gross & my Son's eyes got big when she said it. I knew he was grossed out by the thought that she was saying he had bugs in his mouth. That must be taught "101" in Dental School regarding working on Children "say sugar bugs". DUMB!

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 2:50 PM on Jul. 17, 2013

  • Ugh the hygienist said the same thing. My son told her she was wrong and that they were cavities.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 3:21 PM on Jul. 17, 2013

  • Children are difficult to work with especially if they are in the dentist chair! Attendants do their best to keep the child still so they can finish the job...sugar bugs is more appealing than something blatantly honest.... Sugar will eat up the kids teeth and play concern for the child's hygiene because he's old enough to understand...

    Answer by hau_siyoka at 3:52 PM on Jul. 17, 2013

  • The only person I've heard use that term is a dental hygienist, but she didn't use it for cavities. (They use the term "cavities" when they talk about tooth care & health.) She referred to "sugar bugs" when cleaning the kids' teeth, as in getting rid of the "sugar bugs" that CAUSE cavities. Not that cavities ARE sugar bugs.

    I'm not crazy about the term and I don't use it with my kids when we talk about tooth brushing, but I don't really feel irritated when the hygienist uses it with my little ones. But it seems particularly obnoxious to call cavities sugar bugs. It doesn't even make sense. They are the holes the "sugar bugs" leave! lol

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:04 PM on Jul. 17, 2013

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