May sees the start of National Smile Month
Promoting smiles that last a lifetime!
May sees the start of this years National Smile Month. Celebrating it’s 40th birthday this year the initiative aims to promote three key themes this year:
Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend
Here are a selection of top oral health tips to help your smile last a lifetime!
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean in between your teeth at least once a day using inter-dental brushes or floss.
- To check if you have bad breath lick your wrist, let it dry and give it a sniff, if it smells your breath probably does too.
- If you use mouthwash don’t use it directly after brushing as you rinse away the fluoride from your toothpaste.
- Quit smoking to help reduce the chances of tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss, and in more severe cases mouth cancer.
- Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride; it helps strengthen tooth enamel making it more resistant to decay.
- Change your toothbrush every two to three months or sooner if it becomes worn as it will not clean the teeth properly.
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
- Some dentists may offer home visits for people who are housebound or have difficulty visiting the surgery.
- If you are nervous about visiting the dentist, make sure they are aware of why so they can improve your treatment.
- Help to overcome dental anxiety by taking a friend with you for support or listen to music to help you relax and focus on something else.
- Your dentist will carry out a visual mouth cancer check during your regular check-up.
- Visiting a dental hygienist can help give you excellent tips and advice on preventing dental problems.
- Chew sugar-free gum after eating or drinking, especially sugary foods, to help protect your teeth and gums in between meals.
- Wait an hour after eating or drinking anything before brushing as then enamel will be softened and you could be brushing away tiny particles.
- A varied diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fresh fruit and vegetables can help to prevent gum disease.
- Finishing a meal with a cube of cheese is a great, and tasty, way to reduce the effect of acids from the foods damaging your teeth.
- Avoid snacking and try to only have sugary foods and drinks at mealtimes, reducing the time your teeth come under attack.
- If you have a sweet tooth try to choose sugar free sweets and drinks which contain xylitol as it can actively contribute to your oral health.
- Weaning your baby off the bottle early can help them avoid developing dental problems.
- All children up to three years old, should use a smear of toothpaste with a fluoride level of no less than 1000ppm (parts per million). After three years old, they should use a toothpaste that contains 1350ppm -1500ppm.
- Parents should try and supervise your children’s tooth brushing until they are about 7 years old.
- Take your child to the dentist early, as soon as their teeth start to appear, this will help them get used to the sights, sounds and smells of a dental practice.
- Use a timer or brush a long to a song to ensure your children are brushing for the correct amount of time.
- Use a reward chart to track your children’s brushing habits and get them actively involved in brushing their teeth.
- Use disclosing tablets to show areas of your children’s mouth which may need better brushing.