The 13th of May marks the start of National Smile Month, this is the largest and longest running national campaign to promote messages surrounding good oral health for people of all ages. It is very well known that poor oral health can increase the likeliness of suffering with general health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, dementia and pregnancy complications so it is more important that ever to get behind the campaign and any events that may be running in your area.
The campaign highlights three key messages:
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
When we go to bed the saliva levels in our mouth drop significantly, this puts our teeth more at risk of decay as bacteria left in our mouth can multiply and start the process of decay, this is why it is so important to remove the bacteria before we go to sleep by toothbrushing and interdental cleaning. Using a fluoride toothpaste can add extra protection to the teeth as fluoride helps to prevent decay, the best way to use fluoride toothpaste is to brush for 2 minutes, spit the excess in the sink but avoid rinsing the toothpaste away with water. It is also best to avoid a mouthwash straight after brushing as mouthwash does not contain as much fluoride as the toothpaste.
- Cut down on how much sugary food and drink you have, and how often you have them.
Consuming sugary food and drinks frequently throughout the day puts our teeth at a very high risk of decay. If you are going to have a sugary snack or drink it is best to limit it to mealtimes and stick to healthier alternatives as snacks.
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
It is best to visit your dentist regularly rather than only if you are experiencing problems. Your dentist can prevent and help to identify problems early before they become too troublesome or costly.