National Smile Month aims to get moe than your teeth in shape

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust oral health promoters Melanie Wooton and Pauline Wright
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust oral health promoters Melanie Wooton and Pauline Wright

Health chiefs are aiming to put on a happy face for National Smile Month

Oral health promoters will be out and about during the month - which started on May 14 - in South Tyneside.

The team from South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust will be emphasising the importance of mouth care and dental attendance, as well as raising awareness of the effects of alcohol and smoking on the mouth.

Experts like Melanie Wooton and Pauline Wright are holding events all ove the area - including events at South Tyneside College, South Tyneside District Hospital, Gateshead College and Sunderland College.

They will also be setting up shop at Alexander’s restaurant in South Tyneside District Hospital on Friday June 15 - from 10am to 3.30pm.

Team manager Joanne Purvis said: “A healthy smile is not only a great asset socially but failure to maintain good oral health with basic day-to-day hygiene can be potentially harmful to health.

“As well as causing direct oral health problems such as gum disease and tooth decay, it can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, dementia, complications during pregnancy and male sexual health problems.

“There is also evidence that smoking and drinking, in particular, can put oral health at risk as they can lead to severe gum disease, which is the main cause of tooth loss in adults and has been linked to a raft of diseases such as strokes, heart disease, diabetes, meningitis, pneumonia and mouth cancer.”

The three key messages for developing great oral health are:

*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 the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend