18 April 2016

Leading health charity, the Oral Health Foundation, is delighted to announce the return of National Smile Month for 2016, this year the campaign promises to be bigger and better than ever as it marks its 40th birthday.

This year the UK’s largest and longest running oral health campaign takes place between 16 May and 16 June and aims to increase awareness of important oral health issues and make a significant difference to the well-being of millions of people.

Together, with 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, and visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

This year sees the 40th birthday of National Smile Month and to mark the occasion the charity wants to go even further and see more dental and healthcare professionals than ever involved in spreading key oral health messages.

CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, laid down the gauntlet for professionals to get involved in 2016.

Dr Carter said: “This is a special year for National Smile Month as we proudly celebrate our 40th birthday. For the past four decades, with your help, we have been campaigning to change the course of oral health.

“In 2015 the campaign reached unprecedented levels with an 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 workforces and individuals as possible. With your help we can have a real impact on the nations oral health and really see our birthday go with a real bang.

“With your support the campaign reaches more than 50 million people each year and every time it amazes me to see how many of you actively get involved in National Smile Month.

“We can look back on the last 40 years since the very first campaign and see how it has coincided with some of the major oral health improvements in the UK.

“Much of the credit for these improvements goes to hard working dental professionals who go out into their local communities during the campaign to educate of the importance of good oral hygiene. By getting involved with the campaign, together, with your help, we can herald even further improvements.”

National Smile Month 2016 sees the return of the now iconic smiley, something which Dr Carter believes symbolises exactly what the campaign is all about.

“By giving people the opportunity to get actively involved with the campaign through elements such as the smiley we are able to have a real impact. Alongside education, National Smile Month is about having fun to reach out to people to drive the public’s 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. Wrigley’s Extra, Oral-B as platinum sponsors of the campaign, with further support from Polo and Philips Sonicare.

Polly Garland, Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme Manager, said: “Wrigley is delighted to continue sponsoring National Smile Month, a great reminder to dental professionals to encourage patients to include sugarfree gum as part of their oral hygiene routine.

“Our busy, on-the-go lifestyles mean we often graze throughout the day, and so it’s crucial for oral health recommendations to adapt to allow for oral healthcare on the go.

“Research has shown that chewing sugarfree gum after eating or drinking can help neutralise plaque acids and promote the remineralisation of tooth enamel, and therefore help to keep our smiles clean and healthy.

“We are excited that this National Smile Month will see the launch of the Extra® Smile BackTM Project, an initiative created with the aim of promoting and protecting children’s oral health in the UK, encouraging children to smile confidently back at the day.”

Jane Kidson, Oral B Professional Oral Health UK Country Leader, said: “Oral-B, platinum sponsors of National Smile Month, are encouraging practices to support the campaign reminding patients how to improve oral health. Reinforcing daily brushing and eating habits as well as visiting the oral care professional is key to improving the nation’s oral health.”

If you have not done so yet, simply register your details to support and take part in National Smile Month. Registration only takes a couple of minutes and is completely free, by registering you will receive our amazing National Smile Month Registration Pack which includes everything you need to kick start your involvement in the campaign.