Smile! It’s National Smile Month. Haven’t heard of it? That’s not too surprising, but that’s also going to change.
National Smile Month was started by the British Dental Health Foundation in 1977 as a project to raise awareness of oral health concerns and good oral health practices, and to improve communication between dentists and their patients. The initial “Smile ’77” project became National Smile Week which, due to its popularity, expanded into National Smile Month in 2006. In 2008 National Smile Month was celebrated simultaneously in the United States and the UK for the first time. State and local initiatives combined with nationwide programs to make National Smile Month a big success in the US, and it’s only gotten bigger since.
This year, National Smile Month even has a Twitter account (@smilemonth) and a hashtag (#NSM15) so you can follow along and enjoy all the fun Smile Month festivities. Even if you aren’t necessarily actively participating in National Smile Month, it’s still a good time for families to spend some time talking and thinking about good oral care habits. Data suggests that many kids don’t brush or floss often enough, and their parents probably don’t either.
While Dr. Watts, your friendly Overland Park family dentist, may remind you to brush and floss regularly, oral care habits start at home. One thing that you might try for National Smile Month is coming together as a family to brush, floss, and eat foods that are healthy for you and your smile. Especially since the kids are home for the summer, it’s a great time for family togetherness and for building new and better oral care habits. Families that take the time to brush and floss together help build good oral care habits for their kids and reinforce those same habits in the parents. So everybody wins!
Another fun National Smile Month project is to introduce some alternative snacks that are healthier for your kids and their teeth than candy and other sugary sweets. Apples, celery, and carrots are all sometimes called “nature’s toothbrush,” because their crunchy texture actually scrubs the surface of your teeth as you eat them. Nuts stimulate salivation, which can also help clean your teeth, and they contain lots of vitamins. Strawberries, kiwis, oranges, and pineapples all contain a boost of Vitamin C that can help jump start your immune system.
There are a lot of fun ways to celebrate National Smile Month. And if you’re strapped for ideas, you can always get on Twitter or check out the hashtag #NSM15. Or you can stop by your friendly neighborhood Overland Park dentist office, and see what we’re doing to celebrate! National Smile Month runs through June 18, but there’s never a bad time to start good oral care habits.
This article brought to you by Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, Kansas. Our friendly office specializes in preventative dental care for the whole family. To make an appointment, please call (913) 338-3384 or click here to fill out our online contact form.