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Keep brushing through lockdown to keep smiling for life

Date 20.05.2020

It’s the month for health awareness campaigns. As well as Mental Health Awareness Week celebrating kindness during the pandemic, this week also marks the start of National Smile Month.

Senior Lecturer in Dental Nursing Nicky Peasnell is the University’s Mouth Care Matters lead and is passionate about making sure we all ‘keep brushing’ during lockdown. Here, she gives some reminders about what we should all be doing to maintain a healthy smile for life.

You can watch the video of her advice below.

This Monday marked the start of National Smile Month, which runs until 18 June.  I want to promote some key oral health messages during lockdown and beyond for you to maintain a healthy mouth and to smile with confidence.

The power of a smile is immense. It can have an amazing effect on our state of mind, as well as the emotional welfare of others when they receive a smile from you – and you may even get one back. So, it’s important to remember:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. I know this may sound obvious, but it’s something some of us can forget, especially when we have a busy day at home with children or other things to do during lockdown
  • The best time is last thing at night, and brush at least one other time during the day. Preferably, brush before breakfast – if I can change my brushing habits, I know you can! Make sure you always use a fluoride toothpaste
  • If you use a mouthwash, make sure this is at least 30 minutes after brushing your teeth. If you use mouthwash directly after brushing you can rinse the fluoride from the toothpaste straight off. You should not rinse your mouth after bruising either. Remember to also clean the spaces between your teeth everyday with floss or interdental brushes
  • To minimise the risk of tooth decay, think about how you can cut down on how much sugar you have in a day and how often you have it. If you have a sweet tooth, avoid sweet snacks and stick to the sweet stuff at meal times to reduce the amount of sugar you consume in a day.

Bearing these tips in mind should mean you are able to give your biggest, broadest smile whether you are in the house or when we return to ‘normality’.

Now is a chance to flash that smile because, as the saying goes, smile and the world smiles with you! I challenge you to share a picture of your biggest smile on social media, using the hashtag below.

Remember – keep brushing and keep smiling for a healthy mouth and a healthy mind.


For more, see of the official website. Follow the conversations on social media using: #SmileMonth

For more about Dental Nursing at UON, see our course page.