National Smile Month is a charity campaign by the Oral Health Foundation running between 16 May and 16 June 2022. National Smile Month is all about championing the benefits of having good oral health and promoting the value of a healthy smile.
Maintaining a healthy smile can be simple but for so many in the UK oral disease is far too common. Despite the many improvements in oral health over the last 40 years, inequalities continue to be a burden for countless individuals.
We wanted to get involved by helping to spread the message of the four main ways you can achieve a healthy smile.
1. Brush teeth for two minutes, last thing at night and one other time during the day, with fluoride toothpaste.
Why do we recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes?
Brushing for the full two minutes is important in ensuring you have removed any food and plaque that has built up on your teeth during the day. The sugars found in food feed the bacteria in plaque; removing both food and plaque is imperative for your oral health. Plaque build-up causes tooth decay and gum disease.
Why do we recommend brushing twice a day?
Brushing twice a day prevents tartar build-up by removing plaque before it hardens. It will also help to prevent bad breath, keep your teeth whiter, and improve your gum health, preventing gum disease!
Why do we recommend fluoride toothpaste?
Most toothpaste now contains fluoride because it is very effective in preventing tooth decay. The amount of fluoride found in toothpaste is usually enough to reduce decay by keeping tooth enamel strong. Some areas add fluoride to their water supply, in these areas using fluoride toothpaste will give extra protection.
It may seem like a laborious task, but brushing for 2 minutes, twice daily with fluoride toothpaste is a little bit of work with a huge payoff!
2. Clean between your teeth every day.
Interdental cleaning is an important step in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Even if you don’t do it yet, it’s never too late to take this step toward a healthier smile!
Why do we recommend cleaning between your teeth daily?
A daily clean between your teeth helps remove plaque from hard-to-reach areas that your toothbrush can’t get to. Reducing plaque build-up helps with three things we’d all rather avoid: gum disease, bad breath, and decay.
Floss is the most well-known tool for interdental cleaning, but you can now find interdental brushes which can be easier for some to use than floss. You can also use interdental picks, wooden plaque removers, and dental picks to clean specific areas in between your teeth. Speak to our friendly hygienist Krystyna who will talk you through what you need to do to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
3. Cut down how much and how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
Sorry to all the sweet tooths out there!
We all have bacteria in our mouths, that’s something we can’t change, but when we consume sugar it combines with the bacteria to produce acid which weakens tooth enamel. . The more your teeth are exposed to sugar the more time the bacteria have to produce this acid and the more detrimental it will be for your oral health.
It’s a no-brainer, cutting down your daily sugar intake can reduce your risk of tooth decay, cavities, and tooth loss!
4. Visit a dentist and hygienist regularly.
You should visit your dentist for a check-up every 6 months and see your hygienist on a regular basis.
Why do we recommend visiting your dentist and hygienist every 6 months?
We recommend regular visits to your dentist because plaque and tartar can build up in a very short time. If not removed, soft plaque can harden on the teeth and irritate the gum tissue, and subsequently if left untreated, plaque can lead to gum disease.
Checking for tooth decay is just the start! During your dental health check appointment, your dentist and dental hygienist will also evaluate the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination and examine your mouth for any indications of vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, or oral cancer.
Our hygienist uses gentle air polishing to clean your teeth leaving them feeling silky smooth and free from surface staining!
Regular dental visits are essential for healthy teeth and gum maintenance. If you need additional help, your dentist or hygienist may even suggest more frequent visits depending on your risk level.
It’s important that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy in between dental exams so follow these simple steps and you will have the healthy smile you deserve!
Find more information about National Smile Month over on the Oral Health Foundation website, plus lots of ways you can get involved and activities to get children interested in oral health too!