23 MAY 2018

Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle Puttock from South Shields has been announced as the first face of National Smile Month 2018, after being chosen as a winner of the campaign’s Nominate A Smile competition.

Campaign organisers, the Oral Health Foundation, picked Isabelle from hundreds of entries as it quickly became clear what a special inspiration she’s been to those around her.

The first winner of the annual competition was nominated for the award by Oral Health Promotion Manager, Joanne Purvis, one of Isabelle's 14 grandchildren.

Joanne spoke very warmly about her grandmother who has clearly had a huge impact on her life: “Her face lights up the room when you walk in and watching her smile really melts my heart.”

In the nomination, Joanne goes into detail about how her grandmother Isabelle is “always smiling” despite her ongoing battle with dementia.

“She’s suffered with the condition for a few years now and sadly, I feel she is slowly deteriorating but she still manages to bring a smile to my face every time I see her,” Joanne said.

“Even at the age of 89, she still loves to have a dance and as soon as music is playing, she’ll be the first one to start moving along with it.

“Unfortunately, at times she struggles to remember our names, but she still knows in her heart that we’re family and despite her struggles she is still a very happy woman, with the biggest smile to show for it!”

A big bouquet of flowers is on its way to Isabelle which is sure to bring another big smile to her face.

The Nominate a Smile competition is a key part of National Smile Month and sets out to find very special people with smiles that have the power to lift all those around them.

Speaking on the first winner of the Nominate a Smile competition, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “We have received so many wonderful nominations from people across the nation and we hope we continue to do so but after reading Isabelle’s story, it quickly became clear to all of us here at the charity that she’s a more than worthy winner of our competition.

“It’s so important to cherish and appreciate the time we have with our loved ones and we are pleased to have the opportunity to show Isabelle just how precious she is, especially to her family from her five children all the way down to her three great great grandchildren.”

Running from May 14 to June 14, National Smile Month encourages all dental and health professionals, schools, pharmacies, community groups, colleges and workplaces to join in and 'educate, motivate and communicate' positive oral health messages and improve the quality of smiles.

If you would like to Nominate A Smile, you can find out more about the competition here.