If ever there’s a reason to smile, it’s for National Smile Month, which this year runs from May 15th to June 15th.
National Smile Month is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the importance of oral health and the value of a healthy smile. This post discusses the importance of a smile and how to get a better smile for less. So, let’s get started.
While most of us know that a good oral routine involves brushing the teeth twice daily, flossing once a day, and visiting the dentist regularly, there is still a long way to go to address the oral issues nationwide.
According to the Oral Health Foundation:
- 2 in 5 adults (39%) do not visit the dentist regularly
- 2 in 3 adults (66%) have visible plaque
- Almost 1 in 3 of adults (31%) have tooth decay
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that achieving a healthy mouth is not difficult and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Don’t worry; we’ll give you some top tips further down the page.
But first, let’s delve into the power of a smile. Why is smiling so important?
The importance of smiling
Our teeth play an essential role in our daily lives, helping us chew and digest food, talk and speak clearly, and give shape to our faces.
But did you know that science has shown that the simple act of smiling can lift your mood, boost your immune system, alleviate stress, and even prolong your life?
Smiling triggers a chemical reaction in the brain which releases endorphins and cortisol. These factors provide numerous health benefits, including:
- Alleviating anxiety
- Increasing endurance
- Reducing blood pressure
- Strengthening immune system, and
- Reducing pain
Of course, awareness of these benefits is another good reason to grin, so with this in mind, let’s talk about how to get a better smile for less.
Top Tips And Products For A Better Smile
Brush for longer
Brushing is paramount to maintaining good oral health. But while it’s always been recommended to brush twice daily for two minutes, recent evidence suggests that more plaque is removed by brushing for three to four minutes. Use fluoride toothpaste and be careful not to brush too hard, or you could cause damage.
We suggest using an electric toothbrush as it generates far more strokes a minute than you could ever achieve manually. In doing so, it can deliver a superior clean.
Start interdental cleaning
Cleaning between the teeth is a vital part of oral hygiene, yet it’s often overlooked. While brushing is the most effective way to clean teeth, it only reaches 60% of the tooth’s surfaces. Any plaque and food particles that remain trapped between the teeth can cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Get into the habit of flossing between your teeth once daily, and your smile will thank you. If you struggle to floss with string, toothpicks, like TePe EasyPicks, are flexible, durable and comfortable and can be carried in your bag or pocket when you’re on the go. Alternatively, you might consider investing in a Waterpik that is gentle on the teeth and gums.
Spit it out
It’s common practice to spit out the toothpaste after cleaning your teeth. However, did you know you should resist the temptation to rinse your mouth? Doing so washes away fluoride, which will continue to protect the tooth enamel.
Fluoride is the hero ingredient in toothpaste, strengthening tooth enamel and lowering the risk of tooth decay.
Try a fluoride mouthwash
You can also boost your oral health by using a fluoride mouthwash to help remove food particles. Rinsing with mouthwash helps prevent plaque from building up between the teeth, on the gums and the surface of the teeth between brushing.
Mouthwash can be used as a supplement to twice-daily brushing but not as a replacement, and it also serves to freshen breath.
Chew sugar-free gum or mints
Besides freshening the breath, chewing gum and mints can have significant oral health benefits, provided you choose the right products. Sugar-free gum or mints increase the flow of saliva, which:
- Helps remove food debris
- Neutralises plaque acids
- Reduces dry mouth and,
- Strengthens teeth.
We recommend choosing products containing Xylitol (a sugar substitute) that can help fight tooth decay and provide numerous health benefits. Check out Peppersmith for lemon and strawberry flavours if you’re bored of mint.
Beware of snacking
It’s not just what we eat but how long sugary foods and drinks remain on our teeth that impact our oral health. Sticking to three meals daily and avoiding snacking in between is far better for our general and oral health. Avoid sugary foods, swapping them out with healthy foods for teeth.
If you can’t resist a snack when you’re out and about, rinse your mouth with water or use sugar-free chewing gum or mints to help wash away sugary residues.
Visit the dentist regularly
Regular dental check-ups are crucial to getting a better smile. Regular visits help dentists identify and treat any issues before they become more complex and expensive.
We also recommend families bring their children to the dentist when they get their first tooth or before their first birthday. Not only does this familiarise a child with the sights, sounds and smells of a dental practice, but it also gets them into good oral habits that they can take into adulthood.
How to get a better smile for less?
At Foxbury, we provide several affordable dental plans payable monthly, enabling you to spread the cost of routine dental care, including a 10% discount over paying ad hoc. These include dental check-ups, x-rays and hygiene appointments.
It’s never too early or too late
National Smile Month is the perfect time to take stock of your oral health. Why not schedule an appointment with the caring team at Foxbury Dental and let us show you how to get a better smile you can be proud of? Call today on 01858 455 100 or use our online booking service.