From the 16th May to 16th June this year, we have seen National Smile Month raising awareness of important oral health issues with the theme ‘Everyone deserves a healthy smile’. So, what is National Smile Month? And why is it so important?
It’s a charity campaign, organised by The Oral Health Foundation, which aims to promote the benefits of good oral health. This year’s focus is that everybody deserves good oral health.
Despite enormous advances in knowledge and services for oral health care over the past 40 years, there are sadly still inequalities between groups in society. Particularly in the elderly, those on lower incomes, people with learning difficulties, physical or mental disabilities, and the homeless, who seem more prone to suffer from chronic ill-health.
National Smile Month aims to raise awareness of these inequalities and to raise money to help alleviate them. These inequalities are often preventable, and oral health issues, if left untreated, can lead to worse overall health problems down the line. Tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, extractions, and mouth cancer are all issues the campaign wants to raise awareness about. Particularly as gum disease has been linked to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
There are several ways to help the campaign. These involve school visits, taking smiley selfies, and even sending letters to the tooth fairy. All the ways to get involved are on their website and the charity also accepts donations, which can be made online here. Their important work also includes providing mouth cancer advice, raising awareness of signs to watch out for, providing children with toothbrushes, and teaching them how to look after their teeth from an early age.
As part of National Smile Month, the ‘Brushathon’ will connect people from around the world in one giant, communal brushing event. It’s very simple, and all you need to do is take a picture or video of you brushing your teeth and post it on social media.
Brushing teeth is often seen as a personal activity but by sharing your selfie or video of yourself brushing, you are encouraging others to do the same, as well as highlighting the importance of brushing your teeth every day and having a healthy smile. The Oral Health Foundation will be giving shout-outs to their favourite clips or photos throughout the day, so remember to use the hashtag #GreatBritishBrushathon.
As well as creating oral health awareness, the Oral Health Foundation offer a dental helpline that gives free advice on any oral health issue. Calls cost a local call rate, and the team is available on 01788 539780.
If you would like to make an appointment at any of our Sync Dental Centres, our friendly team are on hand to listen to any dental needs you may have and to book you an appointment.