National Smile Month is a long-running campaign organised by the Oral Health Foundation (a UK-based charity) with the aim of promoting good oral health worldwide. This year’s campaign is approaching quickly – it runs from 13th May to 13th June 2019.
As healthcare professionals, taking part in this amazing campaign alongside other organisations gives us an opportunity to help raise awareness of the importance of good oral health and to promote the benefits of having a healthy smile – including improving mental wellbeing and physical health. I’m sure this is a big part of the reason many of us chose a career in dentistry!
The campaign’s three key messages for maintaining a healthy mouth are:
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Cut down on how much and how often you have sugary food and drink.
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
National Smile Month gives us the opportunity to educate and motivate people, teaching them the importance of good oral health. We can do this by:
- Giving oral health instruction, for example by visiting local schools and groups.
- Holding oral health workshops.
- Holding oral health awareness events.
- Displaying oral health posters, educational materials and leaflets around the dental practice.
All of this helps to improve quality of life for others. What more can I say? The rewards from participating in National Smile Month are endless; they give us the chance as healthcare professionals to reach out to our local community and make a difference by delivering important oral health messages – and to have fun whilst doing so.
To be part of National Smile Month, you can visit the campaign website at www.nationalsmilemonth.org. The website provides information on the different ways we can be involved (such as through fundraising events, social media and donations) and about the life-changing work of the Oral Health Foundation.