National Smile Month began in the United Kingdom in 1977 and has since grown to include the United States since 2009. It's recognized every year from May 15th-June 15th. It highlights three important messages that help us all to develop and maintain a healthy smile:
- Brush your teeth a minimum of right before going to bed, and after breakfast in the morning with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Reduce your consumption of sugary drinks and foods.
- Visit your dentist regularly as often as they recommend.
Since the UK's Oral Health Foundation has been partnering with the US's Oral Health America, these important messages have reached more people than ever before.
A Healthy Smile
Our teeth benefit us in so many ways, so it is very important for us to take care of them. Not only do they help us chew and digest our food, they also help us to talk and speak clearly and give our face it's unique shape. They also help us socially, in our careers, and in our relationships.
National Smile Month is an opportunity for all of us to learn more about the importance of our oral health and pick up tips on how to maintain, or even improve it. Caring for your mouth includes:
- Cleaning between your teeth after meals with floss or interdental brushes.
- Changing your toothbrush every three months, or whenever it shows wear so that you are always cleaning your teeth correctly.
- Not using mouthwash directly after brushing to avoid rinsing away the fluoride in your toothpaste.
- Quitting smoking to reduce tooth loss, gum disease, tooth staining, and the possibility of developing oral cancer.
Healthy Gums Equal a Healthy Body
Did you know that people with gum disease are twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease? This is due to bacteria flowing through the bloodstream. In addition to heart disease, gum disease can lead to other problems including:
- Complications from Diabetes
- Giving birth prematurely
- Bacterial chest infections
Some Signs of gum disease are:
- Bleeding when brushing
- Loose teeth
- Mouth infections
It is important to always inform your dentist of your general health and any medications you may be taking, which can affect your treatment, and your oral health.
Most of us want to maintain a healthy smile for cosmetic reasons, but it's also important to keep in mind the health implications of keeping your teeth healthy. Many oral diseases are entirely preventable. Schedule an appointment with your dental professional to learn how you can keep your smile healthy and bright.