National Smile Month began as National Smile Week 40 years ago. Run by the British Dental Health Foundation, the campaign is all about raising awareness of oral health issues, with 3 key messages at its heart:
The next National Smile Month will take place from 20th May to 20th June 2012. There will be events and activities across the country, with thousands of dental and health professionals joining forces with businesses, schools and community groups to help promote good oral health.
The nation’s oral health has improved dramatically over the past 30 years, but there is still a lack of awareness about what constitutes good oral health, and what risks are associated with not looking after your teeth and gums.
Almost 10% of people in the UK aren’t registered with a dentist, and a third only brush their teeth once a day or less. This can lead to problems like tooth decay and gum disease, but there are also a number of potentially life-threatening risks associated with poor dental health, including mouth cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. National Smile Month exists to educate people about these issues.
10,000 ‘smileys’ – the official symbol of the campaign – are being distributed to organisations to organisations supporting National Smile Month. Simon Howell, director of campaigns and fundraising at The British Dental Health Foundation, said:
“Despite retaining a serious oral health message, we’ve placed ‘fun’ at the heart of the campaign. Our ‘smiley’ is just one of those ideas and the whole approach of this year’s campaign will make it easier to engage with the public and bring the importance of oral health to their attention.”