How to supercharge your smile

National Smile Month takes place every year between the middle of May and June. Run by the Oral Health Foundation, the campaign’s aim is to increase awareness of oral health issues and make a significant difference to the wellbeing of millions of people in the UK.

Here are the three key messages promoted by the campaign each year, along with some tips to help keep you smiling:

1. Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste.

  • Clean in between your teeth at least once a day using interdental brushes or floss.
  • Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride; it helps strengthen tooth enamel making it more resistant to decay.
  • Change your toothbrush every two to three months or sooner if it becomes worn as it will not clean the teeth properly.
  • If you use mouthwash, don’t use it directly after brushing as you rinse away the fluoride from your toothpaste.
  • Quit smoking to help reduce the chances of tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss, and in more severe cases mouth cancer.

2. Cut down on how often you eat sugary foods and drinks.

  • If you have a sweet tooth, try to choose sugar-free sweets and drinks that contain xylitol, as it can actively contribute to your oral health.
  • Avoid snacking and try to only have sugary foods and drinks at mealtimes, as this reduces the time your teeth come under attack.
  • Finish a meal with a cube of cheese to reduce the effect of acids from the foods damaging your teeth.

3. Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

  • If you are nervous about visiting the dentist, make sure they are aware of why so they can improve your treatment.
  • Take a friend with you for support, or listen to music to help you relax and focus on something else.
  • Visit a dental hygienist too, as they can give you excellent tips and advice on preventing dental problems.
  • If you or someone you know is housebound or has difficulty visiting the surgery, find out if your dentist offers home visits.

Visit the National Smile Month’s website for more tips. And remember, your local Careway pharmacist also has lots of advice and products to keep your smile healthy. Find your nearest Careway pharmacy by using our Pharmacy Finder.