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Photo credit: nationalsmilemonth.org
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Photo credit: nationalsmilemonth.org
Get smiling, because National Smile Month is here! Running from May 19 - Jun 19, it's time to start thinking about ways to keep your teeth healthy. We catch up with local dentist Chig Amin
We’ve all heard it before, smiling is contagious – and not in a bad way! Studies have shown that there are many positive effects of cracking a smile. Smiling releases endorphins that make you feel happier, smiling increases people’s willingness to trust by about 10%, and smiling makes you more approachable – and yes, that means more attractive. In fact, 61% of us have been attracted to somebody by their smile alone.
When we imagine a smile, we always think of neat rows of pearly white teeth and fresh breath. Who would want to crack a smile with anything less?
Fortunately, National Smile Month, the UK’s favourite oral health campaign, wants to make sure that doesn’t happen! This year, the campaign, which is organised by the British Dental Health Foundation, is running from 19th May until 19th June. Their goal is to raise awareness of good dental hygiene practices, to ensure Britain has a happy, healthy smile. Sound like an effort? Actually, it’s really not that hard to keep your teeth in check. Follow these three oral health commandments and you’ll be laughing:
Brush your teeth using fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, twice a day.
That old trick, it actually works. The best times to brush are before breakfast in the morning and before you sleep at night. Don’t forget, kids only need a pea-sized amount of toothpaste until they are 7 years old, so make sure they don’t squeeze that tube too hard.
Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks.
Trade in that Coke can and Cadbury bar for a glass of milk and an apple. Eating fresh vegetables and fruit (but not too much!) is recommended, as vitamin rich food can help to prevent gum disease. If your family has a sweet tooth, look for sugar-free sweets containing Xylitol to help decrease tooth decay. It’s also better for your teeth if you stick to just three meals a day with no more than two snacks.
Studies show that milk and water are the best drink choices for your teeth. If you want to drink fruit juice, then try to drink it at meals time or dilute it with water. Drinking through a straw is also an excellent way to stop drinks from touching your teeth.
Visit the dentist as regularly as they recommend.
Frequent visits to the dentist mean that problems in your mouth won’t go unchecked. If you have children, make sure you take them along when you go so that they get used to all those strange whirring sounds and odd plastic teeth models.
Following these three key messages will help everyone to maintain healthy teeth and gums. To help spread the word, the campaign also encourages dental and health professionals, pharmacies, schools and colleges, and other members of the community to join in. Hundreds of events and activities will take place across the country during National Smile Month, focusing on engaging and educating the local community about good dental hygiene. The campaign will send out thousands of Smileys – big red lips on sticks – to get people snapping Smiley selfies, which they can tweet or share on Facebook.
The campaign also wants to get children smiling more by encouraging them to practice good oral health. With just over three in every ten children starting school with tooth decay, it’s crucial that children learn to look after their teeth from an early age.
Chig Amin, owner and principal dentist at the Epsom Dental Centre, said: “Practising good oral hygiene starts from childhood and is so important for a healthy smile. Getting children to the dentist and in the habit of brushing their teeth twice per day gives them a great start to lifelong oral health.”
But National Smile Month isn’t just about children. Chig adds “Figures for dental visits in the county show that only 46% of the total population in Surrey have visited the dentist in the last two years. Our message echoes that of National Smile month - everyone should remember to brush for two minutes, twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, cut down on sugary food and drink and visit the dentist regularly.”
Through the communication of positive oral health messages, National Smile Month aims to get millions of people in the UK smiling! Get involved, and you never know, maybe your smile will go viral – in a good way.
Register your interest here to receive your free National Smile Month 2014 registration pack, which includes:
- Your Guide to National Smile Month
- National Smile Month Resource Catalogue
- Five Smileys
- A £5 reward voucher to spend in our shop
- On-going campaign information and latest news
- The National Smile Month Digital Magazine (May Issue)
For advice on how to keep your smile lovely, contact Epsom Dental Centre