The smiley face symbol is the most recognisable symbol of good will and good cheer on the planet. It was created in 1963 in Massachusetts by a commercial artist called Harvey Ball. Over time Harvey got worried that his symbol was becoming over-commercialised and its original meaning and intent had got lost. He came up with the idea of World Smile Day – one day each year to be devoted to smiles and acts of kindness throughout the world. Friday 5th October is World Smile Day and it has been celebrated round the world since 1999.
World Smile Day is as good an opportunity as ever to think about how you should be looking after your smile and that of your children too. Babies start to smile at around 5-6 weeks old. Their first teeth usually start to appear around 4-6 months old and it’s never too early to start looking them. Dental decay is almost entirely preventable and first teeth should be looked after as soon as they appear in a baby’s mouth.
The UK wide Dental Check by One campaign has been launched by British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) in partnership with the Office of the Chief Dental Officer England. The aim of the campaign is to increase the number of children who access dental care aged 0-2 years.
Having decayed teeth can affect children’s ability to eat, sleep, can lead to pain and infection, and being admitted to hospital for general anaesthetic. Aside from that, when baby teeth are lost too early, the space available for the second teeth can be affected, making adult teeth crooked or crowded. What’s more, if children don’t establish the habit of looking after their teeth from a really young age, they are likely to have dental problems when they get older. Sadly, once you’ve got decayed teeth, you are likely to get more.
Make sure everyone in the family is brushing their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. All children up to three-years-old should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million). From three years old, we should all use a toothpaste that contains 1350ppm – 1500ppm.
Whatever your age, don’t be tempted graze on sugary snacks between meals – cheese and bread sticks make good alternatives when hunger pangs strike. At mealtimes, make sure you are not consuming too much sugar, especially hidden sugars in things like cereal.
Revive Dental Care welcomes new NHS patients of any age to join us at our practices in Monton, Davyhulme, Salford and Ancoats.