All smiles for return of campaign to improve oral health

Oral health charity, the British Dental Health Foundation, is delighted to announce the return of National Smile Month and a new-look website for 2014.

The UK’s largest oral health campaign is set to take place between 19 May and 19 June, and aims to make a significant impact improving oral health at grassroots level and educating on the importance of good oral hygiene.

In its simplest form, National Smile Month promotes three key messages at the heart of good oral health: brush for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste, cut down on how often you eat sugary foods and drinks, and visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

In 2013, the campaign was supported by around 3,000 organisations and reached in excess of 50 million people with positive message to improve oral health. Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, hopes to see an increase in the number of dental professionals taking part in National Smile Month, and says their participation is crucial to the campaign’s success.

Dr Carter said: ‘Each and every year it amazes me how many people actively get involved in National Smile Month. We can look back on the last 38 years since the very first campaign and see how it has coincided with some of the major oral health improvements in the UK. Much of the credit goes to hard working dental professionals who go out into their local communities during the campaign to educate of the importance of good oral hygiene.

‘It isn’t all smiles though. We still have around one in four children starting school with tooth decay, and our own research during National Smile Month last year highlighted some less-than impressive attitudes and behaviours towards oral health among adults. By getting involved with the campaign, together, with your help, we can herald even further improvements.’

To celebrate the return of National Smile Month, the charity is giving away 15,000 smileys – the symbol for the campaign.

‘National Smile Month is not just about education, it’s also about having lots of fun. The smiley has been a roaring success with dental professionals and the public alike since its launch three years ago and we hope it’s continues to drive the public’s interest in oral health,’ Dr Carter added.

National Smile Month is also being supported by some of the nation’s best-known brands. Wrigley’s Extra, Oral-B, Listerine are this year joined by Invisalign as platinum sponsors of the campaign.

Louisa Rowntree, Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme manager, said: ‘The need for good oral hygiene is greater than ever before. Our busy on-the-go lifestyles mean that snacking and grazing is on the increase and the more we snack the more our teeth come under attack from plaque acids. National Smile Month is a great opportunity to remind dental professionals of the benefits of chewing sugarfree gum on-the-go as part of a good oral hygiene routine. Wrigley is delighted to be involved as a sponsor again this year.’

Jamie Morley, general manager UK & Ireland for Align Technology commented: ‘We are delighted to be platinum sponsors of National Smile Month this year and help the British Dental Health Foundation drive awareness of oral health. We have also played our part … and helped over 2.5 million adults and young people worldwide to transform their smiles with Invisalign. This is a clinically recognised, virtually invisible orthodontic treatment which straightens teeth using a series of custom-made clear aligners. Hopefully that will help dental practitioners and their patients smile with confidence in 2014.’

Irafan Omerji, Oral-B market strategy and planning manager added: ‘Oral-B is proud to be a platinum sponsor of National Smile Month! Oral-B is dedicated to enabling the dental profession to improve the oral health of their patients with clinically proven innovations that serve the nation in having healthy beautiful smiles.’

Francesco Salvo di Pietraganzili, brand manager of Professional Listerine United Kingdom, said: ‘Listerine is proud to partner with the British Dental Health Foundation to support National Smile Month 2014. The Listerine Advanced Defence range of mouthwashes are scientifically proven adjuncts to professional treatment, designed to help treat and/or prevent specific oral care conditions. With this range we are dedicated to working in partnership with dental professionals to provide expert care for patients.’

National Smile Month 2014 is also being supported by Philips Sonicare, Bupa, Dentists’ Provident, NUK and Tepe.

To register your interest in taking part in National Smile Month 2014, and to receive your free smileys, please visit www.smilemonth.org.NSM Smile Logo May_June2014

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