National Smile Month is the UK’s largest oral health campaign. This year it kicks off on 20 May and finishes on 20 June. Right at the heart of it you’ll find three key messages that can go a long way to improving oral health. They are:
Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
Visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend
Sounds simple? You’d think so, but there’s evidence to suggest not everyone keeps to these three most basic of messages. National Smile Month is a great opportunity for those who don’t to take stock of their oral health habits, and a great opportunity for those who do to pass the message onto others.
Organized by the British Dental Health Foundation, National Smile Month was established in 1976. Now into its 37th year, the campaign has helped to change the oral health landscape of the UK.
The proportion of the population with no natural teeth in England, Northern Ireland and Wales has fallen to just six per cent in 2009. In 1978, the figure was as high as 37 per cent in Wales.
The majority of adults (71 per cent) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are now free of visible dental decay on the surfaces of their teeth.
In 2009, two thirds (66.6 per cent) of children aged 12 were found to be free of visible dental decay. In 1973, this figure was less than 10 per cent.
It’s not all smiles, however. Research has shown oral health problems persist, with many people overlooking the value of good oral health.
More than a third of adults are likely to delay dental treatment due to cost
More than half of the UK workforce isn’t allowed to take paid leave off work to visit their dentist
60 per cent of people aged 65 and over regret not looking after their teeth earlier in life.
In 2013 National Smile Month has once again teamed up with three giants of oral healthcare to deliver a campaign to remember. We are delighted to stand alongside Wrigley, Oral-B and Listerine who are helping to make everyone smile in 2013 with their generous charitable support. Getting involved in the campaign couldn’t be simpler – submit your interest in taking part and we’ll send you lots of great information, including five free smileys on a first-come first-serve basis!