A DENTAL specialist is aiming to bring miles of smiles to Blackpool over the next few weeks.
Helen Kellett, a dental health educator for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is visiting a host of venues in the resort over the next few weeks to promote dental health as part of National Smile Month which takes place between May 16 and June 16.
The aim of the campaign is to promote key oral health messages in a bid to reduce the number of people affected by oral diseases such as gum disease and decay.
As part of her tour of children’s centres, health centres and NHS sites Helen will be advising people to make sure they visit their dentist regularly for check-ups, brush their teeth at least twice a day using the correct technique and reducing the amount of sugary foods and drink people consume.
She said: “Dental hygiene is vital and there is a lot more we can do nationally and in Blackpool to improve the dental health of people in our community.
“It has been reported that 100 operations a day are being carried out nationally to remove rotten teeth from children and teenagers with the cost of missed school time due to dental work jumping to £35m a year.
“If we work with children, young people and families to educate on the importance of dental care we can reduce the number of ops dramatically.
“By taking part in National Smile Month we can get some important messages across especially to parents who are still amazed constantly when they find out the amount of sugar there is in things such as fizzy drinks and other juices which are not as healthy as they think they are.
“Good oral health is vital for a healthy smile as well as a healthy body, and I will be spreading that message over the month.”
Helen is also promoting the use of an App on the Change4Life website that allows you to find out how many cubes of sugar are in a product by scanning its barcode.
She said: “This is an amazing App that anyone can download and is free on the NHS Change4Life website.’’
To help raise awareness Helen and her team have also organised a fun selfie campaign to try and show the importance of a great smile.
Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE said: “I’m delighted that Blackpool Teaching Hospitals has joined the thousands of organisations in engaging with National Smile Month. It is a great reflection of local community spirit and an excellent way to promote good oral health.
“We hope it will inspire more people to take on board the Oral Health Foundation’s three key messages for good oral health; brush for two minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks and visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.”
For more information please visit www.smilemonth.org