National Smile Month hits the UK next month, and the Oral Health Foundation is calling on dental and healthcare professionals to help spread smiles and key oral health messages further than ever before.
This year, National Smile Month – the UK’s largest and longest running oral health campaign – takes place between 15 May and 15 June and aims to increase awareness of important oral health issues and make a significant difference to the wellbeing of millions of people.
Supported by thousands of individuals and organisations, National Smile Month promotes three key messages at the heart of good oral health:
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Cut down on how often you eat sugary foods and drinks
- Visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, spoke about why professionals should get involved in 2017.
Dr Carter said: ‘This is your opportunity to help spread some smiles and improve oral health in the UK. As we enter what is amazingly the fifth decade of National Smile Month we can proudly look back and see what we have achieved together, but it is also an opportunity to look forward and see what we can still achieve.
‘Our ultimate goal is to improve the oral health of every person in the UK and enable them to smile with confidence. This is, a huge task that we need your help to achieve.
‘In 2016, the campaign reached unprecedented levels as we celebrated our 40th birthday, with in excess of 4,000 organisations registering their interest to take part and promote better oral health, but this year we want to go even further.
‘We want to reach as many schools, community groups, local workplaces and individuals as possible and with your help we can have a real impact on the nation’s oral health.
‘Much of the credit for the huge improvement we have seen in oral health in the UK over the last 40 years, is down to hard working dental and health professionals who go out into their local communities to spread the word about the importance of good oral health and a good oral hygiene routine, with your help, we can herald even greater improvements.
‘With your support the campaign reaches more than 50 million people each year and we are delighted to see how many of you actively get involved in National Smile Month.’
National Smile Month 2017 sees the return of the now iconic smiley, something that Dr Carter believes symbolises exactly the purpose of the campaign.
‘Elements such as the smiley enable us to have a real impact. Alongside education, National Smile Month is about having fun and reaching out to people to drive their interest in oral health.
‘Share your #MySmileySelfie with us on social media and show how you are helping to provide better oral health for all.’
National Smile Month is being supported by some of the nation’s best-known brands and retailers. Oral-B is platinum sponsor of the campaign, with further support from Wrigley’s Extra, Polo Sugar Free, Philips and Regenerate.
To show your support and take part in National Smile Month, visit www.smilemonth.org/register. Registration only takes a couple of minutes and is completely free, by registering you will receive a National Smile Month registration pack, which includes everything you need to kick start your personal campaign.