‘Brush for health’ in National Smile Month 2008

Focusing on the systemic links between oral health and overall body health, the campaign aims to make the public aware of how taking good care of their mouth can benefit their whole body.

There is mounting evidence that people who suffer gum disease are more at risk of serious general health conditions like heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and low birth weight babies.

By making the public aware of these systemic links the Foundation is hopeful that National Smile Month can both reduce the risk of these conditions and encourage people to take better care of their mouths. National Smile Month runs from May 18th to June 17th 2008.

Launching in America
This year National Smile Month will run simultaneously in the UK and the USA for the first time.
Oral Health America, the Foundation’s US equivalent charity, will work closely with the international arm of the Foundation to take the ‘Brush for Health’ message across the United States.
With this level of support and involvement it is clear that National Smile Month 2008 will be the biggest one yet.

How can I get involved?
By organising an event! Organising a successful National Smile Month event is easy – if you know how.
Order your free Campaign Handbook for a full step-by-step guide to organising a great event. As well as a range of event ideas and tips on planning & promoting your event, the Campaign Handbook also contains useful information on this year’s theme.

For your free Campaign Handbook call the Foundation on 0870 770 4000 or email [email protected]

What else can I get?
The Foundation has created a range of exclusive supporting resources for this year’s National Smile Month campaign – including posters, T-shirts, balloons, leaflets, stickers and key rings.

All of these items have been specifically designed to help get across the systemic links message and can be invaluable in communicating that message to patients.

A full catalogue of exclusive products is contained in the Campaign Handbook. For more information on resources call 0870 770 4015 or email [email protected]

A small selection of free resources for children, including colouring sheets, puzzles and dot-to-dots will soon be available on the official website at www.nationalsmilemonth.org.

What sort of thing can I do?
Dental practices can do so much in National Smile Month, some examples are below:

• Display: Setting up a display in the waiting room is one of the most common ways for dental practices to get involved during National Smile Month. There are lots of eye catching resources available in this year’s catalogue and practices are encouraged to hand out written information whenever possible

• Expert talk: A dental expert talk at a local school is a great way to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health in National Smile Month. Alternatively you could invite a class from a local school to take a look round the practice. Letting the press know in advance might also generate some good coverage in the media – both for event and practice

• Healthy waiting room: Providing healthy snacks in your waiting room can raise awareness of the importance of a good diet to oral and general health. Cheese, crackers, milk and raw vegetables are all ideal

For a far greater selection of event ideas as well as tips on planning and promoting your event order your free Campaign Handbook on 0870 770 4000 or email [email protected]

How can I get the most out of my event?
To get the best possible response for any National Smile Month event it is important to promote it.

Register your event on the National Smile Month website and make sure you inform your local media in advance. You should also be sure to take photographs.

The Foundation has created a template press release to make it easier for event organisers to get their event into the local media.

A step-by-step guide is below:
1) Download the template release from the website, www.nationalsmilemonth.org
2) Fill in the gaps to describe the event
3) Send to local newspapers and radio about two weeks before the event
4) Follow up with a phone call a few days later to check they received it and to invite a photographer or journalist
5) After the event send the release again along with a picture.

When should I do all this?
You should start planning your event immediately. After all, the more time you give to planning and promotion the more successful your event will be.

National Smile Month is the biggest oral health event in the UK calendar and, with 30 years of success behind it, has proven time and again that it can capture the imagination of the public unlike any other campaign.

We need your help to raise awareness of the importance of good oral healthcare in every community in the UK. By informing people of the link between their mouths and their body we can improve dental care in this country. We can make people healthier – so get involved.

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