1st July 2020

Our second winner of our Nominate A Smile competition is an incredible 97-year-old lady called Mary Lock. Mary has not only had an incredible life which has seen her receive honours and meet princes, she’s also managed to retain nearly all her natural teeth. She is living proof that a healthy smile is for life and a worthy winner indeed.

Mary (pictured below bottom right) was nominated by Dr Ravinder Kalirai (pictured below left), a dentist at her local Grey Gables Dental Practice in Bilton. In her nomination Ravidner was full of praise for Mary saying “she simply has the kindest soul. She has volunteered at Rugby St Cross Hospital for many years. She makes huge efforts to bring smiles to as many children as possible by knitting little bags and toys for refugees across the world. She also makes shoe boxes full of essentials and treats for the children. She is simply an incredible human being and I’m blessed to know her as my patient and friend.”

Mary has indeed achieved a lot in her 97 years. Her house was bombed during the Blitz in 1940 but rather than let it intimidate her she instead joined the Civil Defence Association and was drawn to the Fire Guard where she became the only female instructor (pictured below in her uniform).

After she left school, Mary worked at Barclay’s Bank in Coventry, before meeting her late husband Clive while attending St George’s Church in Rugby. They were married in 1947 and had two children – a son and daughter. Mary now boasts six great grandchildren, three boys and three girls.

For the last 25 years she has volunteered at Rugby St Cross Hospital as a member of the Friends of St Cross charity. During her time, the charity has raised over £3 million for the hospital.

Nominate A Smile was organised as part of the Oral Health Foundation’s National Smile Month Campaign which ran from 18th May – 18th June. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy smile.

Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation believes Mary is a very worth indeed and is a role model in how to maintain a healthy smile; “Mary has lived a remarkable life and should be very proud of all that she’s achieved. One thing that she should definitely be proud of is her smile, at 97 she still has the vast majority of her natural teeth which is testament to her commitment to looking after it. She is living proof that a healthy smile is for life and we’re delighted to be able to honour her with this award.”

When asked how she manages to look after her smile so well, Mary said: “You must clean your teeth before you go to bed. I’ve always brushed my teeth twice a day, sometimes three times a day, and have never gone to bed without brushing my teeth first.”

On their way now to Mary is the latest top of the range Phillips Sonicare electric toothbrush and a card to congratulate her on her win.

The Oral Health Foundation is keen to help others achieve a healthy smile and has been supporting thousands of people during lockdown.

The charity has been raising awareness about how to maintain good oral health at home, while access to a dentist remains limited.

For a healthy mouth, the Oral Health Foundation recommends twice-daily toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste, using mouthwash and interdental brushes once a day, and cutting down on sugar.

The Oral Health Foundation’s Dental Helpline is available for anybody who needs advice for the health of their mouth.  Contact the Dental Helpline on 01788 539 780 or [email protected].