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40 years of campaigning for National Smile Month 16-05-2016

From 16th May to 16th June, the spotlight is on oral health care. And with National Smile Month reaching it’s 40th Birthday this year, that spotlight is going to be shining brighter than ever. The Oral Health Foundation have led the way with this annual campaign over the last forty years, and hope that this year it will be bigger and better than ever, and reach even more people.

National Smile Month is an annual campaign which aims to improve knowledge and understanding around oral hygiene routines, and in doing so, to improve the well-being of people in the UK and across the world. It is underpinned by three key messages:

  • We should all be brushing our teeth twice a day. Once last thing at night before we go to sleep, and on at least one other occasion during the day. It’s recommended that you opt for a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Tempting as it may be, sugar is bad for our teeth and can cause decay. Try to reduce the amount of sugary food and drinks you consume. Your teeth will thank you for it.
  • Make sure you’re not a stranger to your dentist. Visit them regularly: they will be able to recommend how often your check-ups should be.

Following these three pieces of advice should improve your oral health, in turn leading to a great sense of well-being.

Each year, National Smile Month reaches around 50 million people in some shape or form, and last year 4,000 organisations signed up to show their interest in getting involved. Anyone can take part, from dental and healthcare professionals through to schools, community groups and workforces. Involvement could involve fun events and activities, sharing of information or fundraising to support the continuation of the campaign. There is even a social media tag to help you share your efforts: post a photo with the hash tag #MySmileySelfie and tell everyone what you’re up to.

To take part in National Smile Month, you’ll first need to register online. This is quick and simple, and is free of charge. Visit www.smilemonth.org/register and follow the online instructions. You will then be sent your registration pack which will include everything you need to get involved. There is also lots of useful information and ideas on the website.

National Smile Month is a great opportunity to support your school or workplace in improving their oral health. Lots of fun activities will be taking part all over the country, so why not get involved and organise your own.

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