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National Smile Month 2022 – Everyone Deserves a Healthy Smile

26 May 2022

National Smile Month (NSM) runs from the 16th of May to the 16th of June this year and raises the awareness of important oral health issues with the theme ‘everyone deserves a healthy smile.’ It’s a mouth-friendly charity campaign full to the brim with grins that help to promote good oral health.

This year emphasises the inequalities within oral health. The campaign asks to raise awareness and support for children and families, the elderly and vulnerable, people with disabilities, and those living in isolation or deprivation. The campaign focuses on subjects such as nutrition, learning how what we eat affects our oral health; mouth, mind, and body, and exploring how oral health links to overall wellbeing. NSM encourages dental and health professionals, schools, colleges, workplaces, and all kinds of other organisations to get motivated and communicate positive oral health messages. This year, they are promoting four key messages.

Key messages for good oral health

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes, last thing at night and one other time during the day, with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss or clean between your teeth every day.
  • Cut down on the amount and how often you eat and drink sugary food and drinks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.

NSM is organised by the Oral Health Foundation and whips up a feast of fun focused on maintaining happy mouths and spreading healthy dental messages throughout the UK.

When NSM was first conceived, when flares were cool the first-time round, it was as the smaller scale National Smile Week, but today, some fifty years later, it has morphed into a month-long celebration of all things dental. NSM continues to evolve so it can share its mouth-centric messages in fresh, engaging ways.

NSM believes that everybody deserves a healthy smile and a person’s oral health is a crucial part of their overall wellbeing.

Vital tips for keeping your mouth in tip-top condition

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • The best time to brush is last thing at night, before you go to bed.
  • Cut down on how much sugar you have and how often you have it.
  • Keep sugar consumption to mealtimes. This will reduce the time your teeth are under attack.
  • Use interdental brushes or floss to clean in between the teeth.
  • Use mouthwash daily to remove bad bacteria and keep fresh breath.
  • Sugar-free chewing gum can help produce saliva and neutralise the plaque acids in your mouth.

And for those baby teeth:

  • Keep an eye on your kids’ brushing techniques
  • Use a fun timer to encourage youngsters to brush for long enough
  • Use disclosing tablets to highlight problem areas

Of course, smiles are NSM’s main concern. However, as touched on earlier, their health messages go beyond the confines of the mouth because, as well as being a major cause of tooth loss, poor oral health can have a worrying effect on the rest of the body too. In fact, gum disease has been linked to several serious conditions including:

  • heart disease – bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and contribute to the production of a protein which can cause platelets to stick together in the blood vessels of the heart. This increases the chance of blood clots which can go on to cause heart attacks.
  • strokes – the protein caused by bacteria in the mouth can inflame blood vessels which can block the blood supply to the brain.
  • diabetes – people with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease, probably because they are more prone to infections in general. Also, people are more at risk from diabetes if they have gum disease.
  • respiratory disease – as chest infections are caused by inhaling droplets from the mouth and throat, people with gum disease may have more bacteria in those areas and so be more susceptible to infection.

So, make a date with National Smile Month and take part in all their mouth-friendly fun and games. The Great British Brushathon takes place at 9 am on June 15th. They have a rate my plate week and there are smiley monster competitions for the more creative amongst us. There is something for everyone! Aesthetique Dental Care are big fans of this campaign and completely support all those helpful dental messages.

If you wish to donate or take part in National Smile Month you can do so on their website: –  https://www.dentalhealth.org/national-smile-month

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