National Smile Month15 Jun 2017

Today sadly marks the last day of National Smile Month 2017 and here at the Oral Health Foundation we are in the process of packing away our Smileys and taking down our campaign bunting, balloons, posters and everything else which we have decorated the offices with over the last month.

But we are not quite finished yet….

We have one final very important announcement, the winners of this year’s #MySmileySelfie competition!

Yes, that’s right, out of the thousands of Smiley selfies we have been sent via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook we have manged to whittle out three lucky winners, all with the help of a very large hat.

Each lucky winner will receive FOUR tickets to their local comedy club so they can keep smiling, long after the campaign has finished.

Over the last few years, the Smiley has become an ever-present part of National Smile Month, giving everybody the opportunity to share a smile and also learn about what they need to do to maintain their oral health.

On the back of every single one of the 120,000 Smiley’s we distributed this year were our three key messages, designed to help bring better oral health to all:

  • 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 have sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

These three simple messages have been the backbone of our mission to create healthy smiles for many years, through the support of millions of people we have been able to disseminate these massages far and wide.

Harnessing the raw power of social media, the #MySmileySelfie has become a huge part of National Smile Month, through a simple tweet or post everybody is able to share a smile and with it the key messages of oral health, without your support the impact of the campaign would be much, much smaller.

Without further ado, our three amazing winners of the #Mysmileyselfie competition 2017 are:

Neil Patel, Ipswich

Neil, Ipswich

Stuart Banks’ little boy, Edinburgh

Stuart’s little boy, Edinburgh

Graham Bryant and Jane Conroy, Littlehampton

Graham & Jane, Littlehampton

Congratulations, to the winners – they will be receiving their prizes shortly.

Having fun with the Smileys is a great way to engage people with their oral health, but there remains a very serious element to the campaign.

Despite the many improvements in oral health over the last 40 years, inequalities continue to be a burden for countless groups. Older adults, 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 your work during National Smile Month has really made a difference in addressing this unjust imbalance.

It’s not only adults which National Smile Month targets. 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.

Throughout National Smile Month, thanks to dental professionals and teachers around the UK, thousands of children have benefitted from increased oral health education in the classroom. It’s wonderful to see so many people dedicated to improving the oral health of young children everywhere and we hope that it is a catalyst for dental health professionals and their local schools to develop strong relationships in the future.

Having fun with the Smileys is a great way to engage people with their oral health, but there remains a very serious element to the campaign.

With your help, National Smile Month has been able to reach some of the most isolated and at-need groups in the UK and will undoubtedly leave long-lasting benefits on the quality of thousands of lives. A really big thank you to everybody, for your terrific support throughout National Smile Month and we hope you join us in supporting the campaign in 2018.