News & blogs News Get inspired for National Smile Month 12 May 2016 The Oral Health Foundation is calling for National Smile Month 2016 to be an opportunity for communities to come together and be inspired to help spread positive messages of oral health. The charity is encouraging everybody to get involved in in the campaign between 16 May and 16 June by organising activities and events which will promote oral health within local communities. Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation said: “Taking part in National Smile Month is so easy. It doesn’t necessarily involve lots of time or money, just the passion to make a difference and help promote oral health in your community. Whether it’s in your dental practice, hospital or general practice, school, pharmacy, retail outlet, workplace or even out on the streets themselves, use the campaign to educate people about the importance of good oral health. “This year National Smile Month is celebrating its 40th birthday and to commemorate we are aiming to bring more people than ever before together to create opportunities for supporters and organisations to help share the message of how to achieve great oral health. “We are looking for people who can take our values and desire of oral health education and come up with fun and engaging ways to spread the word among their community.” To inspire you in organising terrific National Smile Month events, here are a few of the favourites from the Oral Health Foundation that are guaranteed to put smiles on everyone’s faces: Smileathon Grab some of our Smileys and take as many pictures as you can of people using them. Whether it’s a selfie, or a photo with family, friends or colleagues – show us as many smileys as you can muster. Post them on Facebook and Twitter with hashtag #MySmileySelfie and you can also be in with a chance of winning some great prizes. Two Minute Challenge This is great fun and perfect for schools, colleges, workplaces and community groups. In fact, anywhere there are working groups of people. Take two minutes out of the day to collectively brush your teeth. It’s so simple to organise and is a great reminder about the importance of brushing for a full two minutes… it’s also great fun too! School Visit Schools working alongside parents and health professionals have an important role to play in educating young children about healthy lifestyles. For National Smile Month, we’re encouraging dental professionals to make contact with nearby schools to deliver oral health education in the classroom. Brushathon Brushing our teeth is not usually considered a communal event. It’s done in the privacy of our bathrooms, in the morning and last thing at night. But during National Smile Month dental practices, hospitals and oral health educators to partner up with local groups to encourage them to brush their teeth simultaneously for two minutes. What makes the Brushathon such a great event is the factor of mass participation. The activity creates a brilliant buzz, especially among the children, which will mean they’re more likely to engage with the subject. Fundraising Organising events as a means of fundraising can be a great way to involve an array of different people, from family to friends, patients to pupils and from colleagues to the community as a whole. It can raise awareness for oral health in a fun way, reaching new audiences and a wider potential new supporter base. Whether it’s a sponsored dance, duck race or even face painting there are many easy and effective ways to take part. Much more inspiration on how you can get involved in National Smile Month 2016 can be found at www.smilemonth.org/events. Make sure you tell the Oral Health Foundation about your event through social media. By donating the proceeds of your event to the charity all the hard earned money raised goes towards enabling them to continue their valuable work in bringing 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 are platinum sponsors of the campaign, with further support from Polo sugar-free and Philips Sonicare.