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National Smile Month: 32 days, 32 top tips!

National Smile Month runs from 14 May to 14 June this year. Here’s your day-by-day guide to a healthier, happier smile!

  • Start with a selfie. Like what you see? Want to make some improvements? The first thing you’ll need to do is take control of your dental self-care, so read on…
  • Boost your brushing. The sure-fire way to keep disease and decay at bay is to brush for two minutes twice a day.
  • Be a breakfast boffin. Don’t brush your teeth straight after breakfast! After eating, teeth are temporarily softened by sugar and acid, so brushing can actually damage your enamel. Brush before breakfast, or wait at least an hour after eating.
  • Bribe your kids (but not with sweets!). Use a reward chart to track their brushing habits and get them actively involved in looking after themselves.
  • Remember the rule of firsts: first tooth or first birthday = first dental visit. Bring your baby to see the dentist early so that it becomes a familiar place to be.
  • Start to stop smoking. Smoking is a major cause of gum disease and mouth cancer, not to mention bad breath and yellow teeth! Giving up means you’ll save yourself thousands – not just in tobacco products but in future dental treatment too.
  • Get a deep clean. Book in with one of our hygienists for a professional deep clean to remove plaque and tartar, lift stains and leave you with a shiny-white smile.
  • Check the weather and change your toothbrush with the seasons, i.e. every 3 months, or sooner if it’s looking frayed at the edges.
  • Get gummy. Chew sugar-free gum after snacking or drinking between meals – it will boost saliva levels and help protect against gum disease.
  • Diarise your dentist visits. Even if you don’t know what you’ll be up to in six months’ time, book the appointment anyway! We’ll send you a reminder nearer the time so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to reschedule if needed.
  • Step up your supervision. If your child can’t tie their own shoelaces yet, they don’t have the dexterity to brush their own teeth!
  • Spruce up your smile. Schedule a hygiene appointment for a deep-clean that will leave teeth stain-free and shiny.
  • Maximise your mouthwash. Mouthwash is great as a breath freshener but don’t use it straight after brushing; it will simply wash away all that preventive fluoride.
  • Be an in-betweener cleaner. Getting fresh with floss or inter-dental brushes plays a huge role in reaching the areas brushing can’t. Incorporate this into your nightly routine.
  • Get help at home. If you or a family member can’t get to our practice, we can come to you for your check-ups.
  • Say cheese. Munching on a cube of cheese after you’ve had something to eat is our top tip for keeping acid attacks at bay, as cheese neutralises acids in your mouth.
  • Conquer your fears. Dental anxiety is not something you have to put up with. From high-tech sedation to simple air-con, we’ve put in place a range of measures to help nervous patients.
  • Bust bad breath. Lick your wrist, let it dry, and if it smells icky, you’ve got bad breath. Step up your oral hygiene routine and book in with your 543 Dentist to ensure everything is OK.
  • Be mouth cancer aware. We routinely check for mouth cancer during your check-up, but you should check at home too. Feel around the inside of your mouth with your fingers and shine a light around it to check for any lumps, bumps, ulcers or sores. If an ulcer hasn’t disappeared after three weeks, see your dentist immediately.
  • Say no to sugary snacks. Curbing a sweet tooth is tricky, but if you can limit sugar to mealtimes you’ll be giving your mouth a break from frequent acid attacks.
  • Get sugar smart. Download the Change4Life Food Scanner app so you can use your phone to scan supermarket packaging and find out how much sugar is hiding behind the tasty-looking picture on the packet.
  • Banish baby bottles – they can cause decay in the front teeth, especially if filled with juice. Babies can start using a cup as early as six months, so try introducing one as soon as possible.
  • Be preventive. Our hygienists will give you the most up-to-date advice on caring for teeth and gums at home, along with personalised diet and lifestyle help.
  • Brush to the beat. Use a timer or brush to a song to ensure your children are brushing for the full two minutes.
  • Get cooking. A balanced diet, rich in leafy, dark greens, is the key to enjoying a healthy smile. Why not challenge yourself to come up with some new recipes this month?
  • Get sports savvy. A custom sports guard could save you tens of thousands in dental bills – you can’t restore knocked-out teeth cosmetically on the NHS!
  • Say goodnight to snoring. Consult us about a dental night guard if you or your partner snores excessively, and look forward to a peaceful night’s sleep!
  • Beat your bruxism. Find out about how dental night guards can alleviate the pain caused by teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
  • Count your millions. Before the age of 3, kids should use a smear of toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1,000 parts per million. After 3, toothpaste should contain 1,350-1,500ppm.
  • Consider modern braces. Adult brace systems are high-tech, fast-working and discreet – no ugly train tracks required!
  • Treat yourself to teeth whitening. It’s the most cost-effective cosmetic treatment you can have – plus it’s safe and proven to work when done via your dentist.
  • Spread your costs. With 543 Dencare your essential dental needs are covered by monthly direct debit – so you’re less likely to be faced with unplanned dental costs.
  • Snap that selfie again. Like what you see? Share it with us for National Smile Month!