It’s that time of year again when the whole dental team can get involved in National Smile Month. Your practice can join forces with other health professionals and organisations such as schools, pharmacies and community groups to help promote better oral health. This year, the campaign is running from the 14th May to the 14th June. Here’s how you can get involved.
Firstly, what is National Smile Month?
For those who have never heard of the campaign, National Smile Month is the largest and longest-running campaign to promote better oral health across the UK. Organised by the Oral Health Foundation, the campaign has now been running for 41 years and is expanding year on year. It aims to raise awareness of oral health issues and ultimately improve dental health for all. The great thing about this promotion is that everyone can get involved, and we are able to reach out to people who don’t attend a dental practice regularly (or at all) and help them to understand the importance of good oral health.
How can you get involved?
If you have friends or family who work in schools, nurseries or community groups, you can inform them of how they can get involved, as they might not have heard of the campaign. If you have the time, you could also go into their workplace to help them deliver their message.
The three simple messages that National Smile Month promotes are:
- Brush your teeth twice a day – last thing at night and another occasion in the day – with a fluoride toothpaste.
- It’s important that you cut down on sugary foods and drinks.
- Visit your dentist regularly – as often as they recommend.
Dental practices can obviously go into more detail with people on these points, maybe by giving patients additional oral health sessions that include tooth-brushing and flossing demonstrations and dietary advice. It’s important that you discuss this with your practice manager to see how your practice can make a difference.
Where do I need to go for more information?
Please visit the National Smile Month website at: www.nationalsmilemonth.org The website includes an online shop where you can purchase educational resources and items to help you with your campaign. There are also some inspiring stories of how others have got on in previous years, and advice on fundraising for the campaign.
Have fun, everyone – we would love to hear how you have all get involved.