May Marks National Smile Month

Organised by the British Dental Health Foundation, National Smile Month is dedicated to improving the nation’s oral health and this year it runs between 20 May and 20 June. Smile Month 2013 kicks off with some worrying findings.

There is a growing body of evidence linking poor oral health with susceptibility to pneumonia, type-2 diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and complications during pregnancy.

And yet a snapshot of oral health in Great Britain reveals some scary statistics:

  • Over three in every ten children starting school (31 per cent) have tooth decay
  • Nearly one in ten people in the UK aren’t even registered with a dentist
  • 29 per cent of adults suffer from regular dental pain
  • 66 per cent of adults have visible plaque
  • 31 per cent of adults have untreated tooth decay

The economic downturn is taking its toll on the national’s dental health:

  • 17 per cent of people are spending less on their oral care
  • 27 per cent are visiting the dentist less often
  • 36 per cent of adults say they are likely to delay dental treatment 
due to cost
  • 17 per cent of people say they are changing their toothbrush less often
  • One in five people say they are more likely to refuse treatment
  • 7 per cent of people say they have had a sick day due to poor oral health in the past five years

The British Dental Health Foundation aims to communicate three key messages via National Smile Month:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend

From Brushathons to Smileathons, over 1,500 organisations held National Smile Month events last year.  How will yours be celebrating?

Find out how your practice can get involved in promoting good dental health in Great Britain by logging on to smilemonth.org.