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National Smile Month 2014
National Smile Month is back – between 19 May and 19 June. The British Dental Health Foundation say this is the UK’s largest oral health campaign and is designed to get a positive message about oral health out into local communities.
At the heart of the campaign are three key messages for improving oral health. They are:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
- Cut down on how often you have sugary food and drinks
- Visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend
This is also a chance for practices to gain well-deserved publicity for taking part. There are some really practical ideas for levering some positive marketing messages whilst increasing the ‘good health’ awareness in your own district – win/win!
The BDHF has compiled a list of a few simple ideas to get you started.
Use the Smileys (cut-out card smiles) and take as many pictures as you can of people using them. Whether it’s just a selfie, you and a friend or a huge group of people –share it with the BDHF and the world on Twitter and Facebook. Trust me, it’s a funny and compelling image! There are three key messages on the back of the Smiley too – making them educational as well as fun! A pack of 10 costs just £1.65, and there are ideas and resources for all budgets.
Work with local schools
Many schools include oral health in the curriculum and are very open to local dentists coming in and talking to classes. Teachers working with children at Key Stage One and Key Stage Two are especially useful to make contact with. Work with schools or classes on tooth -brushing demonstrations, drawing competitions, a quiz, or toothy poem competitions.
‘Fancy dress Fridays’
Come into work in a fancy dress costume! This will certainly amuse your patients and it is a great conversation starter for explaining what the campaign is about. BDHF also suggests that your whole team can hit the streets in fancy dress to promote National Smile Month, but you might also use this to promote other services and from your practice.
Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and SMS are the new way to share information and can be used to promote National Smile Month. BDHF suggest hosting Question and Answer Sessions online, or ‘tweeting’ helpful hints and tips throughout the month. They also have a National Smile Month’s Twitter account at ‘smilemonth’.
Check out the National Smile Month website at www.smilemonth.org for resources registration and up-to-date news.
Dr John Shapter – QCS Expert Dental Contributor