National Smile Month 2017 – Helping achieve better oral health for all
National Smile Month is back and all set to help put a smile on your face this summer. Now into its fifth decade the UK’s largest oral health campaign is bigger and better than ever as it aims to spread awareness of the importance of a health mouth to more people across the country.
Taking place from May 15 to June 15, National Smile Month will see thousands of volunteers get together to promote three basic messages, all of which go a long way in helping us develop and maintain good oral health. They are:
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
At the Oral Health Foundation, we are determined to improve oral health, not only in the UK but around the world. National Smile Month is our (and your) chance to promote positive oral health messages throughout your local community and help put a smile back on so many faces.
Maintaining a healthy smile can be so simple but so for so many this is not the case. Despite the many improvements in oral health over the last 40 years, inequalities continue to be a burden for countless groups. The elderly, those on lower incomes or in areas of low social equality, people with educational barriers or learning difficulties, those with reduced mobility, physical or mental disabilities, are all more likely to suffer from chronic ill-health.
It is important to remember that health inequalities are almost entirely preventable and National Smile Month gives us a timely reminder that we can make a difference in addressing this unjust imbalance.
It’s not just adults who need our help. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children, affecting more than one in four five-year-olds and has emerged as the number one reason why children are admitted to hospital in the UK.
We want to increase oral health education in the classroom, after all, children who learn the right lessons at an early age are more likely to carry them on into adulthood. We are dedicated to improving the oral health of young children everywhere by continuing to help dental health professionals and nearby schools develop strong relationships.
Throughout life, the state of a person’s teeth and gums can have a significant effect on their overall health and wellbeing. With your help, National Smile Month can have long-lasting benefits on the quality of thousands of lives.
National Smile Month is not just about education and learning about the benefits of good oral health, it’s also about having lots of fun. The campaign’s symbol, the Smiley, has been a roaring and continues to drive interest and awareness of oral health while helping raise funds for charity.
More than half a million have been circulated over the last few years, resulting in thousands of Smiley Selfies appearing all over social media. But behind each smile there is are some very important oral health messages to remember. That’s why each Smiley has the charity’s three key messages to improve oral health printed on them.
Throughout National Smile Month dental practices, hospitals, pharmacies and schools will be taking part by holding dedicated events and activities in the community. Be on the lookout for your local dental practice doing something special and see how you can get involved.
You can also take part in National Smile Month yourself by holding your own fundraising events.
Visit www.smilemonth.org and register to receive your free National Smile Month registration guide.