SHEilds Celebrates National Smile Month 2017

UK National Smile Month

Improving our Collective Oral Health

Did you know that it’s UK National Smile Month?

Maybe not, especially if you’re one of our International readers based outside of Great Britain. Regardless, it’s a campaign with a message worth reiterating the world over; preserve a beautiful smile and great oral health by looking after those teeth!

The biggest and longest running dental health campaign established in the UK, National Smile Month was original established in 1977 under the guise of Smile 77′ by what is now the Oral Health Foundation. Since then over 40 years it’s evolved from a week-long event into a whole month and has even extended outside Britain to America and the UAE in the last decade.

In unison with thousands of individuals and many organisations, National Smile Month emphasises three key points with the goal of improving our collective oral health.

These are:

  • Always brushing your teeth before going to bed and at least once more during the day using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Cut down consumption of sugary foods, sweets and fizzy drinks.
  • Organise regular check-ups at a local dentist according to their recommendations.

Seeking to raise awareness of how important dental hygiene is, the campaign aims to make a difference to the oral health of as many as possible. In service of this and to help celebrate the start of the month, I decided to use this blog to focus on some lesser known tips to help you keep your teeth in tip top condition!

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Little Known Facts

Before I delve into the dental health tips, I thought I would start with the smile itself first. Here are a couple of little known facts:

  1. Keeping up appearances – Everyone knows that the eyes are the mirror to the soul, however some psychologists and scientists have researched another interesting phenomenon. Your facial expressions can influence your state of mind and essentially dictate your body language, creating a domino effect starting with a smile!
  2. Fake it till you make it – Behavioural studies have shown that smiling – for whatever reason – can alter your mood, potentially making you happier in the process. This is not to suggest repressing a serious problem is the way to go, but starting the day with a smile may have a greater impact than you think.

Moving on to the main feature of the all-important smile; the teeth. Here are six lesser known tips to protect yours and keep a dazzling smile:

  1. Unlike what most of our parents taught us that chewing gum (sugar free though) is said to reduce the effect of acids on your teeth, while also helping to clean your teeth and replace lost minerals after your meal by stimulating saliva flow.
  2. Getting more Vitamin D helps keep your gums and teeth strong, you can get your regular dose of Vitamin D through supplements or by catching in the summer sun with suitable precautions.
  3. Your tongue needs some attention too since plaque and bacteria gather on and around it. Giving your tongue a brush or a scrape depending on which tools you choose can help in the battle to protect your teeth.
  4. A varied diet containing a range of vitamins and minerals can help fight gum disease. Try to maintain a regular intake of various fruits and vegetables to support this.
  5. Hopefully most of us know that you should brush your teeth twice a day, but you should be careful about when you brush your teeth, for instance within an hour of eating something acidic. The abrasive action when brushing your teeth could damage the surface of your teeth and cause unnecessary sensitivity and pain.
  6. The angle of your brush or bristles surprisingly also matter, the brush should be at a 45-degree angle to your gum line and teeth. This ensures cleaning of all areas including the hard to reach places.

So, in conclusion enjoy the outdoors in summer and keep your teeth happy which will in turn keep you happy and no matter what keep on smiling!

Happy Smile month!


Marius Beukes

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