The UK’s largest and longest running campaign to promote the benefits of a healthy mouth has been an overwhelming success, according to its charity organisers.
More than 3,000 organisations took part in National Smile Month 2014, organised by the British Dental Health Foundation, a campaign that saw 1,700 community events and activities up and down the country help deliver key oral health messages to members of the public.
Nationwide activities have seen everything from oral health promotion bus tours, school visits, toothbrush amnesties, open days at dental practices, ‘Smiley’ giveaways and a wealth of local community activity. There was even the very first ‘Smile in Pink for Bridge2Aid’ day. More than 2,000 dental practices and almost 800 schools supported the campaign.
Delivering the message
National Smile Month also managed to deliver messages promoting the importance of a healthy mouth, to the nation through more than 700 newspaper, magazine and radio interviews, as well as several in-store promotions. Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, paid tribute to the thousands who took part.
Dr Carter said: ‘I would like to thank each and every individual and organisation that made National Smile Month such a resounding success. If it were not for you, the campaign simply would not happen.
‘People care about the health of their mouth more than ever. The growing number of links between poor oral health and general health conditions continues to increase. That is why campaigns such as National Smile Month that educate the public about how to go about improving their oral health remains vital.
‘We have seen a number of key oral health improvements to coincide with the campaign since its formation in 1977. As we take the campaign into the future, I hope we will see even greater improvement in the nation’s oral health’.
The campaign also received the backing of the biggest household names in the UK. Platinum sponsors Oral-B, Wrigley, Listerine and Invisalign, as well as support from Philips, Denplan, Tepe and Healthcare Learning, which helped to take the campaign to the high street.
Dr Carter added: ‘Thank you to all of our sponsors for their role in supporting National Smile Month. With their help, the campaign reached some of the biggest retailers in the country including Boots and Lloyds Pharmacy, as well as many local communities. It reflects the strength of the campaign that so many prominent names continue to support National Smile Month, and I look forward to repeating our success in years to come’.