Brush for Health
During this year’s National Smile Month (May 18-June 17) pharmacists and dental professionals will be encouraging local people to adopt a good tooth brushing routine since it not only helps to keep teeth and gums in trim, it may also help to prevent other serious health conditions.
By brushing correctly people can help protect themselves against heart disease, stroke, diabetes, premature births and low birth-weight babies.
The campaign, Brush for Health, reminds everyone to brush their teeth and gums thoroughly twice a day.
The British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) has teamed up with American counterparts, Oral Health America, so National Smile Month will be launched on the same day in both countries for added impact.
Last year a BDHF survey revealed that 50% of people are unlikely to brush for more than 45 seconds and one in five only brush their teeth once a day.
Arlene Bennett, Health Improvement Practitioner Specialist for Kirklees PCT, said:
‘We need to try and make the public aware of the importance of good basic oral health care as there are links suggesting people with long term gum disease are more likely to be at greater risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and, in the case of pregnant women, pre term and/or low birth weight babies.
‘The good news is gum disease is preventable simply by making sure we brush our teeth and gums twice a day and do it thoroughly.”
Part of the problem is how do we know we have brushed our teeth well enough?
”It’s a good idea every now and then to use either disclosing tablets or a disclosing solution. These are available from pharmacies and they will help you make that vital check to see how good your tooth brushing really is,” Arlene advised.
Do I have gum disease?
It may be reassuring to know that many people have gum disease at some time in their life. We need to prevent the condition becoming long term.
The most obvious sign of gum disease is that the gums appear swollen and bleed on brushing. The swelling is a reaction to the plaque (bacteria) that may be left around the teeth. The infection increases the blood supplied to the surrounding tissues.
What can I do?
It is essential the plaque is removed by good tooth brushing twice a day. Don’t let the bleeding put you off brushing your teeth, as the brushing will help to make the condition better.
- Check how effective your tooth brushing is by using disclosing tablets or solution.
- During National Smile Month visit your local pharmacy or your dentist for more advice
- Generally healthy gums don’t bleed.
Throughout Kirklees local pharmacies and dental surgeries will be displaying National Smile Month information and staff will be happy to answer queries and offer advice.
For more information on National Smile Month visit www.nationasmilemonth.org
BHDF website is: www.dentalhealth.org or telephone the helpline on 0845 063 1188
Anyone who wishes to register with a dentist in Kirklees is asked to phone the dental registration line 0800 587 2417 (answer phone)
For emergency dental treatment call 0345 605 99 99.