Most kids will tell you the exciting part of Halloween is all of the candy! But with all of that extra candy comes an increased risk of cavities. That’s why on November 1st, we celebrate National Brush Day to discuss the importance of oral hygiene.
The holiday aims to reinforce the importance of children’s oral health and promote good tooth-brushing habits. Unfortunately, tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease in the United States. Two out of five 3rd and 6th graders in Kentucky have untreated cavities. Untreated tooth decay among children can lead to problems with speech, digestion, and self-esteem. By learning good oral health habits early, we can ensure that children aren’t haunted by dental disease long after Halloween has come and gone.
Brushing for two minutes two times a day (2min2x), children can decrease their risk of cavities and other dental diseases. Children should use a toothbrush that is an appropriate size for their smaller mouths, and the tooth brush should be soft-bristled to eliminate any discomfort. A pea-sized amount of toothpaste is all a child needs on the tooth brush.
The American Dental Association has set some guidelines to help perfect brushing habits.
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
- Move the brush back and forth with gentle, tooth-wide strokes.
- Make sure all parts of the tooth are being cleaned including the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and the tops, or chewing surface, of your teeth.
- To make sure the inside surface is getting clean, tilt the brush vertically and make several up and down strokes.
- The tongue needs cleaned too! By brushing your tongue, you remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
To celebrate National Brush Day, parents and families can share “brushing selfies” on social media. Parents are also encouraged to visit 2min2x.org to find two-minute videos, games, and apps to share with kids while brushing their teeth.