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National Smile month has started!

Smile month has now officially started! We are looking at what we will be doing this month and catching up with our Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter.

First, what is Smile Month? Smile Month is one of the longest-running campaigns by the Oral Health Foundation. It is all about championing the benefits of a healthy mouth and good oral health. We want to make as many people as possible smile with a positive impact on dental. At the Oral Health Foundation, we believe that it is so important as everyone deserves a healthy smile despite the vast improvements many in society still suffering inequalities.

In our first week, we are focusing on the life of a smile. One of our main messages is that throughout someone’s life they should make sure to brush for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Dr Nigel Carter said: “From experience we know that a lot of people do not always spend two minutes twice a day, every day, brushing their teeth. But our message is simple, you should be!

“The health of our mouth is so incredibly vital, from eating, drinking, speaking and even breathing a problem with our oral health can seriously impact our quality of life and by making sure we spend a relatively small amount of time looking after it every day we can have a big impact on our health.”

A person’s smile may change throughout their life and need different types of care as they age. Many people may not realise this and so we would encourage everyone to have open discussions about it. If you are a dentist, you can help them, and your practice more involved and bring these key messages to your local community. A wonderful side effect of doing this is the great relationship-building potential in your local area. If you live near a dentist, ask them to get involved! Activities such as taking part in our Great British Brushathon on 15 June or encouraging your friends and family to try our Daily health checklist. You can find out more about these activities by going to the National Smile Month website.

As part of National Smile Month, we are trying to drive home the message about how important it is to clean between your teeth. One in three (33%) of adults have never flossed or cleaned interdentally. This is a shocking figure and as part of our National Smile Month, we hope to be able to impact this. We want to encourage everyone with the use of interdental cleaning.  Having a good routine is the key to making dental health manageable and visits to the dentists less invasive.

Visiting the dentist can often be an anxious time for people but as part of National Smile Month, we are encouraging people to be more proactive in going. Dr Carter: “About one in five Brits admit to being afraid or anxious about visiting a dentist in Britain.

“This is an incredibly widespread anxiety and is one of the key reasons why people don’t visit the dentist as often as they should.

“Avoiding a visit to the dentist due to fear puts you at greater risk of missing oral health problems, such as early signs of tooth decay or gum disease, until it gets too late to treat effectively, and you have no choice but to have extensive treatment.”

Cutting down how much and how often people have sugary foods and drinks will help people’s overall health as well as their dental health. As part of visiting the dentist, people should be encouraged to look at what they are putting on their plate and ask questions to be more informed. Taking part in our third-week activity of Rate My Plate could be a great way of guiding patients into a healthier lifestyle and you can find more about how to take part online. If you would like to go the extra mile in your work, then why not get the rest of your colleagues involved and make a collage of healthy food and drinks to display to your visitors. Other activities you could do is display posters on National Smile Month to help decorate your rooms and raise awareness.

If you have any questions about the activities we have suggested if you would like to know more about potential ways you could help then please send an email to [email protected] or for campaign products go to www.dentalhealthshop.org. We would love to hear from you online about all your accomplishments this National Smile month so #smilemonth or #SharingASmile to spread the word, challenge your friends and colleagues to get involved and spread the smiles on social media.

See the original article here: Oral Health Foundation