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Mass tooth-brushing event kicks off National Smile Month

Published on Friday, May 11, 2018

At 11am, nurseries, schools and children’s centres across the city will take part in synchronised tooth-brushing to mark the start of the awareness-raising oral health campaign.

National Smile Month runs from 14 May to 14 June and aims to help children and families get into good oral health habits. 

Laura Carvell, the oral health lead from the city council’s public health team said: “Tooth decay is preventable, and it’s vitally important we do all we can to prevent it, especially in Leicester where many children have poor dental health. 

“Our ‘Healthy Teeth, Happy Smiles!’ initiative across Leicester has already started to have an impact on poor dental health in children, helping to reduce levels of decay. 

“A big part of this is getting into the habit of good oral hygiene early in life. We know this can set people up for a lifetime of good oral health. What you learn in childhood stays with you. 

“Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, twice a day for two minutes, combined with a healthy diet and visiting the dentist regularly is the best way to prevent tooth decay. The mass tooth-brushing session on 14 May will help us to share good practice.” 

Cllr Adam Clarke, deputy city mayor with responsibility for public health, said: “Our oral health campaigns focus on giving people common sense advice about tooth-brushing and helping parents to get into good habits with their children. We’ve found giving out toothbrushes and toothpaste and running themed sessions to be effective ways of helping families with this.

“National Smile Month is a chance to remind people of the importance of effective tooth-brushing and lend our support to this national campaign.” 

Further events will be held throughout the city to mark National Smile Month. These include ‘lift the lip’ sessions, being held at libraries, leisure centres and other community venues. 

At ‘lift the lip’ sessions, dentists will be attending to work with parents and carers to assess the risk of tooth decay for children, give them personalised advice and information, and provide free toothbrushes and toothpaste. 

Tips on preventing tooth decay include:

  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
  •  Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend

For more information on oral health and to see the full calendar of events for National Smile Month, visit www.leicester.gov.uk/healthyteethhappysmiles