Dental team supports National Smile Month

Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust’s Dental teams are supporting National Smile Month, taking place from 18 May to 18 June 2016.

National Smile Month is organised annually by the British Dental Health Foundation and is the UK’s largest national oral health campaign.

The major cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease, and the aim of this awareness month is to highlight three key messages that can help all of us to develop and maintain a healthy mouth, teeth and gums.

They include:

  • Always brush your teeth in the morning and last thing at night with a family fluoride toothpaste, and avoid rinsing afterwards
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary food & drink
  • Visit you dentist regularly – every six months if possible, or as often as they recommend.

Throughout National Smile Month, dental staff across the Trust will be taking ‘smile selfies’ and sharing them on the Trust’s Twitter and Facebook to help raise awareness for the campaign’s important message.

They are also encouraging colleagues, patients and members of the public to join them in taking part too. Smile selfies can be posted on twitter to @NHSLiverpoolCH using the hashtag #smileselfie and shared with family and friends on people’s own Facebook pages.

Lisa Allen, a Dental Lead for Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust based at River Alt Centre for Dental Excellence in Knowsley helped to organise the initiative with her team. She explains:

“As part of National Smile Month we really want to remind people of how important it is to brush your teeth and gums twice a day with a family fluoride toothpaste, and to visit a dentist regularly for a routine check up in order to look after your smile.”

The team is also especially keen to remind families with young children of oral hygiene advice.

Latest figures show that 2,000 children in Liverpool have had teeth extracted by the age of five, and more than third have suffered tooth decay – in part due to the impact of sugary drinks and diet.

She adds:

“In Liverpool we do have a very high level of tooth decay amongst children. Our advice to all parents and carers is that you should start brushing your baby’s teeth using a baby toothbrush as soon as their teeth start to come through, and remember that children will continue to need help with brushing up to the age of seven.”

“We’d also strongly urge every family to make sure they are registered with a local dentist and attend regular check ups together, which can help spot any early teeth or gum problems developing, and treat them before they become more serious.”

To find a local dentist, please call NHS England on 0300 311 2233 or visit NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk

For more information on National Smile Month visit: www.smilemonth.org.

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