It's National Brush Day for a reason!
Nov. 1, 2022
By Mary Wade Burnside
We hope everyone enjoyed Halloween. And we know that indulging in sweets is one of the more prominent aspects of the celebration.
At Monongalia County Health Department, we never want to be a Debbie Downer. But National Brush Day, which not-so-coincidentally falls on Nov. 1, was created to remind celebrants that good dental hygiene after eating sugar-laden goodies goes a long way toward keeping teeth healthy.
After all, sugar can cause tooth decay and cavities, which aren’t fun even when the dentist finds them in time to provide fillings.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections and can lead to problems eating, speaking and learning. More than 1 in 5 children aged 2 to 5 years has at least one cavity in their baby teeth. Children from low-income families are more than twice as likely to have untreated cavities, compared with children from higher-income households.”
Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time as well as flossing are habits that children should pick up early, along with visiting the dentist twice a year.
Other healthy habits include avoiding sugary drinks and, of course, substituting fruits, cheese and other snacks for candy as much as possible.
We know Halloween is different and that one individual child’s haul might be enough to last for days.
To make National Brush Day fun, National Today, an organization that highlights holidays, offered a dental and toothbrush timeline to provide context to the habits we have learned to follow.
For instance, the original toothbrushes go back to 3000 BC, when Egyptians created crude implements made from twigs and leaves.
Then, on Feb. 1, 1840, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery opened as the first dental college in the world and remains open to this day as the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.
Toothbrushes received some tweaking during the years, including in 1927, with the invention of the electric toothbrush, and in the 1990s, when manufacturers began releasing toothbrushes that play music for two minutes to encourage people to brush for the correct amount of time.
As for some other tips, National Today suggests reviewing brushing techniques, remembering to be gentle on the gum line and to brush all the teeth, even the ones in the back.
You also might want to search for some out-there flavors of toothpaste, such as chocolate or bacon.
And here’s another tip: If you need to make a dental appointment, call MCHD Dentistry at 304-598-5108.
Mary Wade Burnside is the public information officer at Monongalia County Health Department.