How are we celebrating National Smile Month this year?
It’s that time of the year again and no we are not talking already about Christmas! It’s the National Smile Month!
Here at Action for Sick Children we always remember it as we are committed to ensuring that children and young people receive the highest standards of care. Thanks to events like the National Smile month, we can carry out our objective of teaching young children about the importance of a good oral hygiene, healthy eating, and to not be afraid when visiting their dentists. The battle for good dental health has also been emphasized by NHS England, providing additional support to dentists. The goal set for dentists is to see an additional 70,000 pre-school children across England. Experts in fact recommend a first dental visit within the first year of life. This is essential to prevent early childhood tooth decay.
What is National Smile Month exactly?
National Smile Month is the largest and longest-running campaign to promote good oral health. It focuses on three key points:
- Brushing your teeth correctly at least twice a day
- Reduce the quantity of sugary drinks and food you consume
- Visit your dentist regularly
This year, it takes place from the 14th of May until the 14th of June. Anyone with an interest in good oral healthcare can join in! The campaign encourages dental and health professionals, schools, pharmacies, community groups, colleges, and workplaces around the world to educate and motivate communities to improve and maintain a healthy mouth.
How is Action for Sick Children participating?
To celebrate, we are carrying out a social media campaign about our Dental Playbox puppet, Alex, who is visiting local dentists in Greater Manchester! In addition, we organised an amazing giveaway for our Twitter and Facebook followers to celebrate Dentistry 24 – the day to celebrate dental professionals everywhere. The idea is to send the message that everyone should visit their dentist on a regular basis, especially children! Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer for England, as part of the “Starting Well Core programme” that promotes better dental advice for children in the country, said “Regular visits to your dentist from a very early age, are key to developing habits that lead to a lifetime of good oral health”.
Alex’s first visit was to Pearldent in Stockport. He met very friendly dentists who made him feel comfortable right from the beginning! All the staff were very impressed by Alex’s perfect oral hygiene!
Alex also visited Corra Linn Dental Practice in Stockport with his friend Imogen for their usual check up. They were a bit concerned but they realised there was nothing to worry about, as the dentist was very nice with them! So they left with a big smile on their faces!
A couple of weeks ago Alex visited the Ivy Dental Practice in Stockport, where he received the okay from the dentist! He must have brushed his teeth really well lately! Ivy Dental were also kind enough to donate a box of toothpaste samples for us to use in our brushing bags.
Ethos Dental Practice was next on the list where Alex met dentist, Simon, and Practice Manager, Emma!
Alex’s final stop was at Poundswick Dental Surgery. Katie showed him around the surgery and told him what they’d been up to for National Smile Month. They had a lovely display in reception celebrating the occasion and promoting good oral health!
That’s not all because on the 24th of May we invited all our social media followers to join our giveaway contest! The winner received a sticker book, 2 battery powered adult toothbrushes, 2 children’s toothbrushes, and a family friendly toothpaste. To participate on Facebook the process was very simple: like our Action for Sick Children Facebook page, like our giveway post and leave a comment on it. On Twitter, it was even easier and you just needed to retweet the giveaway post. We released the two winners’ names on Friday 1st of June. They are: @battynatty29 for Twitter and Sally Pollock for Facebook!
If you believe in the importance of a good oral hygiene all year long…Then remember we have our Dental Playbox Sessions!
What is the Dental Playbox®?
We set up the Dental Playbox® Project in 2007 in response to the alarming increase in dental decay in young children. At Action for Sick Children we continue to not only reduce this issue but also to stem the ever-increasing numbers of young children becoming hospitalised due to tooth decay. According to statistics in fact, over one third of children in the UK have tooth decay by the time they start primary school!
The project’s key aim is to teach young children about the importance of good oral hygiene, healthy eating and to prepare them from an early age for a trip to the dentist. This is all done through the powerful medium of play. Play is crucial at the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) so the project slots in perfectly with the curriculum.
Booking a Session with a Dental Playbox® Facilitator
If you would like the Dental Playbox® to visit your school or nursery, contact Sarah on 0161 486 6788 or drop her an email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Supporting the Dental Playbox®
If you would like to ensure the Dental Playbox® receives support, you can donate via our JustGiving page by clicking here. Alternatively, the project accepts donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste to include in brushing bags. Donations can be dropped off at the Action for Sick Children office: 10 Ravenoak Road, Cheadle Hulme, SK8 7DL.