Big Smiles at CFD for National Smile Month
Date: 21 May 2018 Category: Dental health
National Smile Month, organised by the Oral Health Foundation has been running throughout May and June (14th May – 14th June) for 42 years, aiming to promote to the general public the importance of looking after your smile and maintaining excellent oral health.
As part of their campaign they try and educate people on 3 things they can do to look after their teeth – brush twice daily, visit your dentist regularly, and reduce the amount of times you consume sugary foods and drinks. We thought we would take this time to give you our take on these three messages and let you know how Centre for Dentistry can help you this National Smile Month.
Brush Twice Daily
We all know the mantra from our childhood visits to the dental practice ‘Brush twice daily, once before bed with a fluoride toothpaste and spit, don’t rinse!’ However, according to the Oral Health Foundation, a quarter of us don’t manage to clean our teeth twice daily. It can be easy if you’ve snoozed the alarm once too many or are just too tired to load the toothbrush with paste and you think it will be OK to not brush your teeth on the odd occasion. If you consistently miss brushes, over time plaque can build up, causing a higher risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
The good news is that we can use National Smile Month as a fresh start to be consistent with our teeth cleaning routine. Here are our tips to remind you to keep up the habit and effectively clean your teeth:
- Set a reminder on your phone to brush your teeth twice a day if you’re the forgetful type.
- You can download apps which track your habits (such as HabitBull) which are a great motivational tool to keep track of your progress and you can also add other habits that you want to make or break on there too! Why not try giving up cigarettes if you’re a smoker?
- Remember to use a fluoride toothpaste when you brush.
- We only clean 60% of our tooth’s surface by using a toothbrush alone so flossing and using interdental brushes are great to get to the places that your brush just can’t reach! Your hygienist will be able to tailor make a teeth cleaning routine to your needs and all Centre for Dentistry practices stock a range of TePe interdental products.
- Make sure to brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice daily – most electric toothbrushes now come with their own built-in timer but, if not, your phone or a two minute timer are always handy! Timers are available to purchase in practice too.
Visit your dentist regularly
It’s important to visit your dentist as regularly as they recommend. If you haven’t been for a check up in a while, you’re not alone! A quarter of adults haven’t visited the dentist in the past 2 years according to the Oral Health Foundation.
If you feel sheepish about booking a check up if you haven’t been in a long time, please don’t worry – you’ll be welcomed with a smile by our friendly team. We have lots of patients that come back after a long time without dental treatment and what’s great is that you’ve decided to make that appointment.
If you’re nervous about the dentist too we’re here to help. Dental Phobia is common, with almost half of the population fearing the dental practice. We’ve partnered with Anxiety UK to bring you a guide with lots of information and tips all about Dental Phobia. We’ve recently had activities in our practices up and down the country for Mental Health Awareness Week. If you are apprehensive of booking a checkup:
- Start small – why not just pop into the practice to have a look around, chat to the staff and familiarise yourself with the surroundings?
- Remember that the dentist is there to help you as best they can so ask questions if you don’t understand something, and know that you can take your time.
- Make yourself accountable. With our £99 Dental Plan including your 2 exams, 2 scale and polishes per year it’s easier to have regular check ups as they’re all easily paid for and affordable.
- Treat yourself. If going to the dentist is a big challenge to over come, reward yourself for doing so well and going.
Reduce the frequency of sugary foods and drinks you consume
Sugar content is big news right now with the tax on sugar driving brands to change their recipes to keep prices low and aiming to tackle high obesity rates, diabetes and tooth decay. In terms of tooth decay it’s the frequency that sugary food and drinks are consumed that has the big effect. After the sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, acids are released by them which can start eroding your enamel. These acids are neutralised naturally by saliva in the mouth, and the process can be helped along by eating neutralising foods such as low fat cheeses after a meal. The more often these foods are eaten, the more acid it takes to be neutralised and so increases the risk of tooth decay. Reducing the amount of sugary food and drinks and also the amount of times you have them during the day will help not only your body, but your smile too:
- Have your fruit juice with a meal, just as with breakfast.
- Choose snacks that aren’t laden with sugar – hummus with veggies; nuts and cheeses.
- Chew sugar- free chewing gum after eating to help stimulate saliva production.
For more information or dental advice, please find your nearest Centre for Dentistry practice or contact our central Patient Care Team on 0333 0162 230 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book an appointment online or via the app.