As part of National Smile Month, which runs until June 13, the organisers carried out a nationwide poll that found most of us regularly feel self-conscious about the appearance of our teeth.
The Oral Health Foundation found that more than half of British adults (51%) are often made to feel anxious about how their smile looks and less than a third (29%) are likely to pose for a photograph with an open-mouth smile.
Findings showed that discoloured teeth are the biggest reason we are not smiling for the camera (33%).
This got the team at Oakwood Dental Practice in Botley, Southampton thinking. What makes a beautiful smile? Is it a Hollywood smile of straight, white, perfectly uniform teeth? Or is it a healthy smile with all its quirks and imperfections? Or maybe one that’s full of gaps? The answer, of course, is whatever you feel comfortable with and one that you are proud to show off.
Our dentists all agree that a healthy mouth is what’s essential, not for aesthetic reasons but for health ones.
Healthy mouths reflect a healthy body – they have pink gums and are pain-free. Red gums or gums that bleed when you brush your teeth indicate to us that something is not right and the main culprit is gum disease.
If caught early, gum disease can be stopped in its tracks before it leads to pain, wobbly teeth or tooth loss. There are also links between gum disease and serious illnesses such as bacterial lung infections, strokes, diabetes, problems with pregnancy, heart disease and dementia, among others.
The key three messages being promoted during National Smile Month are:
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with fluoride toothpaste.
- Cut down on how much sugary food and drink you have, and how often you have them.
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
Ultimately, the aim is to help us achieve good physical and mental wellbeing by improving our oral health.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says: “By adopting a few simple oral health habits, we can transform the health of our mouth and significantly improve our quality of life. It will also give us the reassurance we need to make sure we show off our smile with confidence.”
However, if you don’t feel happy to show off your smile, then ask us for advice. There are lots of ways we can help.
If discoloured teeth are causing you concern, the first and best place to start is with a hygiene visit – not only will your teeth look better, they will be healthier too as every scrap of plaque will have been removed.
Contact us now for details.