The National Smile Month campaign is the United Kingdom’s largest oral health charity campaign, all about the benefits of having good oral health and promoting the value of a healthy smile.
National Smile Month is run by the Oral Health Foundation (dentalhealth.org), a UK-based oral health charity. In 2021 the campaign will take place between the 17th of May and the 17th of June.
The National Smile Month campaign was launched in 1977 when preventative dentistry wasn’t the norm. 40 years later, it’s now a key focus for every dental professional.
National Smile Month sees thousands of events and activities, educating and engaging local communities about the importance of a healthy mouth. Help others achieve better oral health by sharing important oral health messages. But remember, the key to the campaign’s success is that we have lots of fun doing it!
How can you get involved in National Smile Month?
- Rate my plate – Professionals working with the Oral Health Foundation will rate your plate to help suggest replacement food options to improve your oral health. Post a picture of your plate at mealtime using the hashtag #RateMyPlate and tag @dentalhealthorg
- Share your smile! – To promote the importance of a happy mouth this National Smile Month, the Oral Health Foundation want to collect as many smiles as possible. Take a photo of your smile, tag your friends and include the hashtags #SmileMonth and #Sharingasmile
- Cleanse your cupboard – The Oral Health Foundation is challenging those participating in cleansing their cupboard of ingredients damaging to oral health. Share pictures of your food swaps on social media. Make sure to tag @dentalhealthorg on Twitter and Facebook and @oralhealthfoundation on Instagram
How can a Pharmacist help with oral health?
Despite the many improvements in oral health over the last 40 years, inequalities continue to burden countless individuals.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children. It affects more than one in four 5-year-olds. When it comes to managing oral health matters, especially children’s, we don’t usually think of taking advice from a Pharmacist. However, a Pharmacist can help with general health education and various dental problems or general oral hygiene in young children, saving you a visit to the Dentist and reducing the need for extensive dental treatment.
The British Dental Association (BDA) estimates that 150 procedures to extract teeth are performed daily under general anaesthetic in hospitals across England, costing the NHS around £33 million annually. In addition, the cost of treating dental patients who’ve ended up at A&E, rather than getting treatment earlier, could be a staggering £18 million a year, according to the BDA.
Your Pharmacist can help advise you on the best teething gels and creams, what toothpaste to use (as it is important to have the correct amount of fluoride), and prescription advice and guidance in the light of any issues.
What are the key messages for good oral healthcare?
During National Smile Month, the four key messages for better oral health are:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, last thing at night and one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste
- Clean between your teeth every day
- Cut down on how much and how often you have sugary foods and drinks
- Visit a dentist regularly for checkups
- No oral hygiene routine is complete without daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste. Use an electric toothbrush, which is scientifically proven to be better at removing plaque compared to a manual brush
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