National Smile Month, which ran from 13th May to 13th June, is an annual high-profile campaign to raise awareness of the importance of good oral hygiene. The three key messages are central to the work that we do in delivering our dentistry with social impact across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to create healthier happier communities:
- Brush your teeth at night and at least once during the day using fluoride toothpaste
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Cut the consumption of sugary drinks and foods to an absolute minimum
So as always, our team engaged in the campaign with tremendous enthusiasm and the Smileys were in frequent use, helping to raise awareness on social media. From inductions with new clinical and professional support colleagues and engagement through our Brighter Smiles oral health team, to meetings, delivering Lunch and Learn sessions for our own colleagues as well as those in partner organisations, there was no stopping us. We also integrated with other national initiatives such as Mental Health Awareness Week.
Over the four weeks we opened our brand new, purpose-designed dental centre at Harleigh Road and invited the local community in one Saturday to see how we’ve brought their much-loved former grammar school back into purposeful use. We held our annual Smile (Get) Together on 13th June and re-created our own Smiley Selfie in the patient carpark as well as baking special cupcakes to raise funds for our charity of the year, Cornwall Air Ambulance!
And we went further afield too engaging visitors to our stand at the national Dental Showcase at the NEC in Birmingham where we won an award for our Smiles at Sea initiative.
A highlight for us this year was seeing our Brighter Smiles oral health nurse Jo be selected as one of just four Nominate a Smile winners for the work she does in passionately raising awareness of oral health, particularly amongst young children.
Well done everyone and thanks to the Oral Health Foundation for driving this national campaign – let’s see what we can achieve together next year across the UK!