Three important takeaways from National Smile Month
Healthy teeth are vital to general well-being - they affect how well we can eat, our confidence, our attractiveness and, bad oral hygiene can even be a sign of problems elsewhere in the body.
To promote better oral hygiene, the British Dental Health Foundation launched National Smile Month almost 40 years ago - this year, it took place in May as the UK’s largest and longest-running oral health campaign.
The nationwide campaign encouraged people to pay more attention to their teeth and worked closely with oral health educators, health professionals, schools and workplaces to increase oral health education and understanding. It’s such a great cause and we were keen to get involved. Here are our top three takeaways:
Smiles are sexy
A smile can go a long way, especially when it comes to physical attraction.
A survey conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation found that the British people rate good smiles as the second most attractive human attribute after personality. 56% of those surveyed placed a beaming grin at the top of their list, closely followed by the face at 53% and eyes at 51%.
The findings hold greater significance when compared to the reaction recipients had to the reality of the nation’s teeth. Just 23% believed Brits have ‘good teeth’, leaving much to be desired in the attraction stakes.
Bad oral health was found to have pretty dire effects on how attractive a person is. 40% of those surveyed said food stuck between the teeth is their greatest turn-off; bad breath came in at 24%, with stained teeth close behind at 21%.
So forget relationship self-help guides, lonely nights and a string of disappointed first-dates - look after your smile, and your smile will look after your love life.
Smiling has been linked to happiness. That may not come a surprise for you. Perhaps more interestingly then, the actual movement of smiling has been scientifically linked to changes in the body, including accelerated heart rate, and the release of endorphins.
When we smile, whether we are happy or not, our brain reacts to what our body is doing, which can have a knock-on effect on our emotions and end up actually making us feel happy.
Smiling is also a truly universal language, and unlike body language, transmits happy vibes across the world. A smile can go a long way, and could get you out of a tricky situation. Use your smile lavishly.
What your oral hygiene says about your body
The eyes are windows to the soul, but the mouth is a peephole to the body. You can learn a lot about someone’s health by looking into their mouth, and poor oral hygiene can impact more than just your appearance.
The professionals over at British Dental Health Foundation have confirmed something we dental professionals have long suspected - infections in the mouth can cause serious problems in other parts of the body.
Poor dental health could cause the following problems:
• Heart disease
• Premature birth
• Respiratory disease
In fact, people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease as those with good oral health. Bacteria can get into the bloodstream, contaminating the blood with the protein that it produces. This can then affect the heart by causing the platelets in the blood to form clots.
So as we’ve seen, looking after your teeth will make you healthier, happier and, with that beaming, beautiful smile, more attractive.