It was all smiles in the House of Commons last week when national charity the British Dental Health Foundation launches the UK’s largest annual oral health campaign.
National Smile Month, taking place from 20 May to 20 June 2012, is the focal point for thousands of dental and health professionals to co-ordinate events and activities across the UK to improve oral health.
Community groups, businesses, schools, and members of the public are also getting involved by organising activities such as fun days, talks, sponsored events, displays, open days and competitions.
This year sees the launch of the National Smile Month Smiley – a big smile on a stick. Participants are being encouraged to have their photographs taken with the Smiley and then upload them on to the National Smile Month Facebook and Twitter sites.
Many leading figures from the world of dentistry attended the launch of the campaign, including chief dental officer Barry Cockcroft and deputy CDO Sue Gregory.
The launch was hosted by Parliamentary sponsor, Sir Paul Beresford MP, himself a dentist, and included speeches from some of dentistry’s leading experts including the Foundation’s chief executive Dr Nigel Carter (pictured) and president, John Siebert.
Dr Carter said: ‘Getting people to talk and think about their teeth and dental habits is vital to our goal of improving the state of oral health not only in the UK but worldwide.
‘The impact of poor oral hygiene is often underestimated and someone’s poor oral health can be a pre-cursor to a number of serious health issues such as stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes and low birth weight babies. National Smile Month is about encouraging people to take better care of their smile and ultimately their general health.
‘We have had a tremendous response to the campaign. So far thousands of organisations have registered and will be spreading the messages and joining in the fun.’
National Smile Month is sponsored by headline sponsors Listerine, Oral-B, Wrigley and Steradent. The campaign is also being supported by Aldi, Argos, Bupa, Dencover, Denplan, Lloyds Pharmacy, Save WaterSaveMoney, SleepRight, Smile-on and Wilkinson.