It’s so easy for many of us to underestimate just how important a healthy smile is. Of course, you need good teeth for the simple practical reason that they help you to chew and digest food, but it’s easy to forget that they also assist the act of talking and give your face its shape.
Quite frankly, your oral health is something that you should be smiling, rather than frowning about. That’s precisely why National Smile Month is so important, with the annual campaign by the Oral Health Foundation running this year from 14th May to 14th June.
It’s come a long way…
You might initially wonder why we need a National Smile Month, especially these days. After all, don’t most of us look after our teeth and mouths fairly well?
Alas, even today, that’s often not the case. There are still too many of us who continually forget to brush our teeth twice a day, or who too frequently spend less than two minutes brushing. We’ve also seen our diets become overly reliant on added sugars, and millions of us haven’t even seen a dentist in the last two years.
When you also consider that back in 1977 – when the forerunner to National Smile Month, the week-long ‘Smile 77’ project was held – only one in three people had their natural teeth, you can probably begin to appreciate just how crucial a role the event has long played in educating Britons about their oral health.
So… how can you look after your mouth better?
There are a lot of things that you can do to help to ensure the best possible oral health. You’ll find a more comprehensive list on the National Smile Month website at nationalsmilemonth.org, but here are a few to be getting on with…
- Brushing your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Cleaning in-between your teeth at least once a day using interdental brushes or floss
- Visiting your dentist regularly, or as often as they recommend
- Chewing sugar-free gum after eating or drinking, especially sugary foods
- Following a varied diet rich in vitamins, minerals, fresh fruit and vegetables
- Avoiding snacking and only having sugary foods and drinks at mealtimes
- Changing your toothbrush every two to three months or sooner
- Quitting smoking
Plenty of events are also taking place during the month
Every National Smile Month, supporters and organisers hold all manner of events in a varied range of settings – including dental practices, hospitals, pharmacies, retailers and even just out on the street – to spread the message of how to maintain optimum oral health.
With the likes of Smileathons, Two Minute Challenges, school visits and much more taking place over the month, there’s a lot to get excited about – and you can find out more about it all by visiting www.nationalsmilemonth.org.
However you choose to celebrate National Smile Month, always remember to keep smiling!