National Smile Month focuses on three important issues:
- Brush your teeth before going to sleep and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride containing toothpaste
- Reduce the amount of sugary foods consumed or replace with sugar free alternatives
- To visit the dentist frequently
There are lots of ways you can get involved you can get involved with this campaign, why not purchase a smiley and share it on Facebook and Twitter with your friends, or nominate your friends who are always showing their best smile, there are lots of ways to get involved and ways you can donate if you wish.
How small changes in diet can help:
- 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.
- 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.
- Children upto the age of three should use a smear of toothpaste containing a fluoride level of 1000ppm. After three they should be using a toothpaste that conatins 1350pp – 1500ppm.
- Introduce your child to the dentist as early as possible when their first teeth start to appear to get them use to the smells, sights and sounds.
- Use a timer to ensure children are brushing ideally for upto 2 minutes and supervise their brushing until they are about 7 years’ old.
- Reward charts can be helpful to improve children’s brushing habits and get them to be more involved in taking care of their teeth.