It’s the morning after Halloween. Forgotten wrappers from peanut butter cups and candy bars litter the kitchen table. Parents breathe a sigh of relief—they now have a full year to sew the next Halloween costume.
But the day after Halloween isn’t just for rest and digestion. It’s November 1—National Brush Day!
What is National Brush Day?
National Brush Day 2021 is a very important day for your child’s teeth. It’s the day that reminds you to teach your child good tooth brushing habits. It’s also the day that we remind parents about the importance of their child’s oral health.
We have recognized National Brush Day in the US since 2013.
What Can Parent’s Do on National Brush Day?
On National Brush Day, The American Dental Association asks you to:
- Encourage your child to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. They should do this when they get up in the morning and before going to bed at night.
- Talk to your child about the importance of good oral health. Young children don’t have to know the details of what having healthy teeth means for them. But it’s never too early to learn that teeth are important, and it’s smart to take care of them.
Children need to spend only four minutes a day brushing their teeth to have a healthy and beautiful smile. That sounds like time well spent!
Why Is National Brush Day Always the Day After Halloween?
Our dentist, Dr. Barry Eisenman, is the first to agree that eating lots of sugary candy is the number one cause of tooth decay. So, what better time than the day after Halloween to talk about proper tooth brushing?
Effective tooth brushing for a total of four minutes a day is the best way to keep teeth free of cavities. This is true for adults and children alike.
At our family dental practice, we are proud to offer pain-free dentistry. If a patient has a cavity, they remain totally comfortable during treatment. But we would certainly like it better if all of our patients remained cavity-free. When our patients have a great check-up, we’re happy too!
Children Have to Develop Good Brushing Habits
Many children don’t like to brush their teeth at all. Sometimes they get bored. Or they don’t want to spend time brushing when they can be playing. Children don’t realize what’s at stake if they take poor care of their teeth.
But you should know.
Dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in America. This doesn’t have to affect your child.
Brushing teeth for two minutes, twice a day:
- Greatly reduces cavities and gum disease by removing bacteria and plaque
- Prevents oral pain and infections caused by untreated cavities
- Prevents problems with eating, speaking, breathing, and learning that can result from untreated cavities.
And your child will feel increased self-esteem when they have a healthy, beautiful smile.
When your child develops good oral care habits at a young age, it helps ensure your child will become an adult who takes great care of their teeth.
How To Get Your Child Excited About Tooth Brushing
Children love to copy their parents. Nothing is more fun! If your child sees that you’re enjoying taking care of your teeth, they will want to take care of theirs as well.
You can make brushing fun in these ways:
- Brush your teeth while your child brushes theirs.
- Have your child copy what you are doing. Make a silly game out of it.
- Play your child’s favorite music.
- Put your child in charge of setting a two-minute timer.
- Put favorite stickers on the kitchen calendar for a tooth-brushing job well done.
You know your child best. Be creative!
Tooth-brushing can be fun. You just have to make it so.
Teach your child this brushing technique:
- Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste for children 3 and older. A tiny-rice sized amount is best for younger kids.
- Keep the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, facing toward the gums.
- Be gentle with the toothbrush.
- Brush 30 seconds for each quadrant: front and back upper left; front and back upper right; front and back lower left, and front and back lower right.
- Move toothbrush back and forth in tooth-sized strokes.
- Be sure to brush the outer, inner, and flat surfaces of the teeth.
- Take a few seconds to brush the tongue. It can have bacteria on it too!
And always let your child know what a great brushing job they have done. Afterwards, compliment your child on how clean and beautiful their teeth look. Chances are they will flash you an adorable smile!
Preventive Care Starts Early
Preventive care starts before your child even has any teeth. Wipe a young child’s gums nightly with a soft, damp cloth. Once teeth come in, at around 6 months, switch to a toothbrush.
Your child’s first preventive care exam at our office should be around their first birthday — or within 6 months of their first tooth emerging.
Do Baby (Primary) Teeth Need the Same Amount of Brushing?
Although all baby teeth fall out eventually, it’s important that baby teeth stay cavity-free and in place for as long as possible. Keep them healthy with proper brushing.
Here’s why baby teeth are so important
Baby teeth help your child chew food properly and learn how to speak clearly.
Primary teeth also:
- Save a space for the permanent teeth that will take its place
- Help permanent teeth correctly align when they emerge
- Aid in proper development of jawbones and muscles
Most children start to lose baby teeth at age 5 or 6.
Time to Talk Toothbrushes
Now that you know when and how your child should brush, you may want to learn more about toothbrushes.
In our blog post, “How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush,” read about the problems caused by worn out toothbrushes, and when to replace them.
It Doesn’t Have to Be National Brush Day 2021 to Contact Us!
Our dentist at Hamburg Dental Care, Dr. Barry N. Eisenman, specializes in pain-free dentistry. We offer a wide range of dental services, from preventive care to pain-free root canal treatment to cosmetic dental treatments.
Our orthodontist, Dr. Haim Tawil, provides complete orthodontic services for children, teens, and adults.
Hamburg Dental Care is a family dentistry practice in Sussex County. We care about our patients and listen closely to their concerns.
Contact us now to make an appointment or learn more about us.
We look forward to welcoming you and your family into our dental care and cosmetic dentistry practice!