18 May 2015

Today (18 May) marks the start of National Smile Month and campaign organiser's the British Dental Health Foundation is urging us to put a smile on our face - assuring us that we really will feel the benefits.

The charity says a smile is one of the most powerful and emotive gestures we have at our disposal, can make us feel better about ourselves and can make others respond more positively to us.

National Smile Month aims to raise awareness about the importance of good oral health and encourages us to take a moment to consider how we can do something to improve how we care for our mouths.

Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, believes having the confidence to smile plays such an important role in our lives that we should make our oral health top priority.

Dr Carter says: "A simple smile has been proven to have a positive effect on our relationships, careers and overall image. It's such an easy thing to do, yet so many of us just don't do it, often caused by poor oral hygiene over the years.

#MySmileySelfie"National Smile Month is a great chance for us to take a moment and think about our oral health and what we can do to improve the health of our mouth. Some of us are self-conscious about our teeth while others are being held back by poor oral well-being and its impact on their general health. Heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and low birth weight babies have all been linked to poor oral health, so it's important that we don't overlook ours."

In its simplest form, National Smile Month promotes three key messages for great oral health; brush for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cut down on how often we eat sugary foods and drinks and visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

More than 3,500 hospitals, dental practices and other healthcare organisations in the United Kingdom have pledged their support for National Smile Month, which will reach in excess of half a million patients over the campaign period.

Throughout the month there will be around 1,500 dedicated oral health events and activities throughout the country, many of which will happen in local communities and some of the UK's poorest regions. 

"National Smile Month gives us the chance to work closely with oral health educators, health professionals, schools and workplaces, to increase their important work of delivering oral health education, especially in disadvantaged communities and regions of known poor oral health," Dr Carter adds.

"With thousands of special National Smile Month events happening in dental practice, on the high street and in workplaces over the coming month, take a look and get involved. Not only can we learn something that might improve our health but we can also have lots of fun while doing it.

"It's bound to put a smile on our face."

National Smile Month has the backing of some of the nation's biggest household names including platinum sponsors Oral-B, Invisalign and Wrigley. The charity campaign is also supported by Philips, Denplan and Tepe.