Last year’s National Smile Month was a rip-roaring success, with thousands organisations taking part. For those holding events, there’s always the added bonus of entering the ‘Best National Smile Month Event’ at the Dental Awards.
If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, take a look at what these organisation have done for National Smile Month. For more ideas about how to hold an event go to our ‘Events Hub‘.
This event was quite simple – one month, one amazing challenge.
Dental Health Spa owner Christina Chatfield wanted to make a difference. With the introduction of Direct Access for hygienists and therapists, the rise in HPV-related mouth cancer cases and the continued barrier of dental anxiety, 500 Miles 4 Smiles was born.
Starting in Kirriemuir Scotland and finishing 500 miles later at Dental Health Spa Brighton, the 500-mile trek raised awareness of these issues to the general public and encouraged her fellow professionals to get involved and join her along the route.
After 32 gruelling days, more blisters than you can shake a stick at and £20,000 later, Christina and her support team finished their trek.
In 2016, Christina is embarking on a new challenge. During National Smile Month, Christina will once again be raising money for Mouth Cancer Action by walking in Spain.
This year to celebrate National Smile Month the good people at Dental Design Products ltd in Poole, Dorset, decided to ditch their cars and saddle up their bikes to raise some money for charity.
One beautiful morning the whole team donned their lycra and set off on their bikes to work, leaving home at their usual times they noted the difference this made to their journey with one person actually finding it as quicker to travel on two wheels. Others weren’t so lucky and saw their journey time doubled, but at least the sun was shining.
Covering nearly a combined 84 miles the team raised an excellent £419 and also managed to get some exercise in the meantime. Some even took the opportunity to pop to the beach and grab some sea air.
Faye Harrington, of Dental Design, said on their effort: “National Smile Month is a great cause and one we love to get behind due to the impact it can have on many people’s knowledge and understanding of good oral health.
“At Dental Design the team are all very keen on keeping fit and healthy, our idea of a cycle to work day seemed to fit hand in hand with National Smile Month, we were able to raise awareness of both an active lifestyle and a healthy smile.”
Synergy Dental Clinics, which has several dental practices across the North West including Bolton, Bury and Blackpool, decided to get involved with the community this National Smile Month. Utilising their Kid’s Club Oral Health promotion with their Oral Health nurses, they taught young children about the importance of taking care of their teeth by learning how and when to brush including good technique.
Clinical Director Dr Zuber Bagasi of Synergy said: “I find it vital that educating people about good oral health is just as important as other health education, as serious problems can arise as a result of not looking after your teeth correctly. Therefore, we try to teach people at an early stage about how they can look after their oral health properly which they can then take this information with them into adulthood.”
Synergy Dental has also been involved in taking plenty of Smiley Selfies throughout National Smile Month and even getting the patients involved as well! Synergy has also been raising money for the British Dental Health Foundation and encouraging patients to donate for the good of education and awareness for the campaign. And as part of Smile Month, Synergy has also given their patients the chance to win a free Oral-B electric toothbrush by entering their YouTube competition.
Every year, Perfect 32 throws itself into this campaign. In 2014, as well as doing school visits they decided to go the extra mile and do something very special to engage the community in their event.
To show their support for National Smile Month, the team from Perfect 32 held a ‘4 Miles for Smiles’ event at the local Total Fitness. Every team member chose to either swim, walk, run or cycle 4 miles for charity. Their event was supported by Olympic Medallist swimmer, Joanne Jackson, The Mayor of Beverley, players from Hull KR and Hull FC, Roger Millward MBE and Stanley Gene.
The idea of the event was two-fold. Firstly, to raise awareness of oral health issues in the Yorkshire and Humber region and educate the public about good oral health and the link to overall systemic health. Secondly, to raise awareness of the escalating problem of oral cancer across the UK and educate the public about risk factors and self-screening.
IVORY DENTAL CARE
Every year, Ivory Dental Care holds a team building day, and last year the team took inspiration from National Smile Month, held their day within the campaign.
In total 30 staff members were involved in the whole day. The team were divided into small groups of 4 or 5, and the group who completed the most tasks would win a prize at the end of the day which encouraged everyone to take part.
One of the dentists set tasks around the Fylde Coast for the team to complete in groups. Some of the tasks were to interact with the public to raise awareness of Oral Health and promote the three key messages, some tasks involved going into Dental Practices in the area and some tasks even involved team members being blindfolded whilst a team member had to help them reach the checkpoint by navigating them in the park.
The whole team wore NSM T-shirts, and took lots of ‘’smiley selfies’’, whilst staff completed tasks to gain points for their group. There were extra points up for grabs for the group who completed the tasks first, and points were deducted for any foul play, e.g. using Google to answer certain questions instead of working the answers out as a group. At the end of the day all groups got together and had an egg cup race to double their points and the group with the most points received trophies and recognition. Tasks were centred on delivering Oral Health messages and public participation.
Ghyllmount Dental Practice have run National Smile Month events for many years, and in 2014 they decided to take the campaign to the people of Penrith.
Over two days with three members of a smiley team the people of Penrith were treated to lots of oral health fun and games. The team got locked up, visited their local butchers, took a ride at the tractor shop and made a splash at the Rowing Club, amongst others.
Whilst connecting with the people of Penrith they highlighted the key National Smile Month messages in a way that people can understand. They offered them and their families the opportunity to come and see how their oral health could be improved, how their home techniques could be brushed up, how their diets impact on their oral health. Free samples of toothpaste were handed out as well as smile vouchers, pens and key fobs.
Following the tour more than 50 people contacted the practice to book their free examination, an excellent indication of how many people were interested in improving their oral health.
Archway Dental Practice is a practice that truly believes in community values. Throughout National Smile Month oral health educator Gemma Allen stuck to those principles and visited a total of 13 schools, nurseries, Rainbows and Brownies to deliver oral healthcare messages to almost 400 children.
Whilst at the schools Gemma gave a talk on several of the points that are mentioned in National Smile Month Campaign. To keep within the school topic of superhero’s Gemma herself dressed up as the Tooth fairy and adapted her talk with her own super heroes and villains Super Fluoride, Mr Sugar and Professor Plaque. This was a fun and interesting way of getting the children’s attention but keeping to the core subjects of National Smile Month.
The Newcastle Hospitals’ Dental Services and 0-19 Health Visiting and School Nursing Services invited four local primary schools in Newcastle-upon-Tyne to take part in an exciting poster competition as part of 2015 National Smile Month.
Year 6 children were invited to design a bright, eye catching poster to help encourage other children to look after their teeth and mouth. All children taking part in the competition received a SMILE pencil and eraser.
A winning poster was selected from each school, from these, one overall winner was chosen.
The overall winner was rewarded for their efforts with a treat for the whole family – five family tickets to attend the Empire Cinema at the Gate, Newcastle. Their poster will also be displayed in local community libraries, schools, doctors and health centres to help promote good dental hygiene.
Arnold Dental Centre, based in Nottingham, is a traditional family dental practice that has built an enviable reputation for providing a high standard of dentistry to the community. The team there has been an active supporter of the British Dental Health Foundation’s work, not only during National Smile Month but also Mouth Cancer Action Month too.
For their latest event, Arnold Dental Centre planned an open day with the aim improving oral health of the local community and raising awareness of important oral health issues. Organised during the school half term, they encouraged all sorts of people to visit the practice on an informal basis to learn that teeth really are for life.
Goody bags were given to adults and children alike, advice and guidance was given by the dentists, hygienist and dental nurses, while incomers to the practice also had the chance of winning a new electric toothbrush.
Manju Skariah, one of the dentists at Arnold Dental Care said: “It was a very lively day at the Arnold Dental Centre with lots of visitors walking around in the surgeries on an informal basis. They had lots of questions to ask the team. The dentists and the team could reinforce the parents and children about the importance of brushing, eating healthy and visiting the dentist regularly in a very informal way. I strongly believe this event has made a positive difference in and around Arnold.”