17 MAY 2023

Experts and leaders from the world of dentistry and health have gathered at the Royal College of Nursing in London to attend the launch of this year’s National Smile Month.

Organised by the Oral Health Foundation, National Smile Month is all about championing the benefits of having good oral health and promoting the value of a healthy smile.

Running between 15 May and 15 June under the theme of Brush for Better Health, the charity will be shining a light on the importance of twice daily brushing.

President of the Oral Health Foundation, Mhari Coxon began the proceedings by welcoming attended while highlighting why National Smile Month is needed.

Mhari said: “We have a problem with the basics of brushing. Brushing is the cornerstone of better oral hygiene and prevention.

“Every year we are thrilled with the launch event because it helps to springboard this campaign and bring it to life. We really want people to think about how they can make a difference.”

During the campaign, the Oral Health Foundation will be promoting prevention techniques, like toothbrushing, to help people manage their oral health.

Despite the many improvements in oral health over the last 40 years, inequalities continue to be a burden for countless individuals.

The event, which took place on 17 May, was kindly sponsored by the Wrigley Oral Health Programme and Johnson & Johnson.

Dean Dukes, Senior Manager, Public Affairs for Mars Wrigley spoke about how proud he was for Wrigley Oral Health Programme to partner with such a campaign while revealing the launch of a new prevention report into the economics of oral health. 

Dean said: “This year, is the tenth year that Wrigley has sponsored the campaign.

“The conversation around this subject has never been louder or more important. This year we have commissioned research around the impact that preventative policies can have in better oral health.”

This report which has since been released outlines three different ways that NHS dentistry could potentially save money and increase time for more patients. The ideas included sugar-free chewing gum, fluoridation of water and supervised brushing schemes.

Benjamin Tighe, a dental therapist on behalf of Johnson & Johnson, moved on to talk about the oral health daily routine.

Benjamin said: “We begin with true prevention, and this starts with better plaque management. We need to be tailoring our advice to individuals. This might include mouthwash along with mechanical cleaning.

“This is even more important with those patients who are susceptible to periodontitis… 54% of people had gingival bleeding.”

Stopping gum disease before it becomes periodontitis is incredibly important. This can help to stop tooth loss and prevent unneeded dental appointments.

Mhari Coxon closed off the event while reinforcing the importance of National Smile Month now and in the future. The charity’s president thanked attendees for their ongoing support before making a special address to the Oral Health Foundation’s Dr Nigel Carter, who celebrates 25 years as chief executive.

National Smile Month 2023 takes place until 15 June.

For more information, visit www.smilemonth.org