Brush away the candy on National Brush Day, Nov. 1

National Brush Day is November 1, and it is the perfect time to remember and reinforce good brushing habits. The day comes after the biggest candy day of the year…Halloween! No need to fear because two minutes of tooth time, two times a day, can go a long way in preventing tooth decay and keeping mouths healthy.

“Results from the most recent Oral Health Needs Assessment show that there continues to be a need to focus on prevention that includes brushing teeth two times a day, cleaning between the teeth daily, drinking fluoridated water, limiting sugary foods and drinks and getting dental sealants,” said Dr. Ray Lala, the Division of Oral Health Director.

Who doesn’t like to indulge a little on Halloween candy? If you or your young ones trick or treated this year, there are a few helpful tips from the American Dental Association (ADA) that will help you have a mouth safe Halloween.

Helpful Halloween tips to protect your teeth:

  • Try to eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. You produce more saliva during mealtime, and this helps rinse away food particles and works against the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth.
  • Limit snacking. Frequent snacking can increase your risk of cavities, especially if those snacks are sweet.
  • Be choosy about the candy you eat. Try to avoid sticky candy, hard candy, and other sweets that stick to your teeth and stay in your mouth for a long time. The longer a candy stays in the mouth the greater the risk of tooth decay. Chocolate washes off the teeth more easily, so it is a better candy choice but should still be limited.
  • Consider donating your extra candy. There are organizations that help you donate to the military and some dentists have candy take-back programs.
  • Make water your drink of choice and limit sugary beverages as much as possible. Drinking water with fluoride can help prevent tooth decay.

Observe National Brush Day by spreading the brushing message, buying a new toothbrush, and posting a pic of yourself brushing your teeth. Use #NationalBrushDay when posting on social media.

For questions or comments about oral health in South Carolina, email oralhealth@dhec.sc.gov.

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