Every year provides us with opportunities to raise awareness of oral health and how to take positive action. Across the national campaigns, the messages are around being informed and about empowering people to make changes. The campaigns we support and promote on a local level are:
National Smile Month runs mid May to mid June each year. People can engage in the campaign in a variety of ways and by accessing (or making their own) resources (see the website). In recent years the ‘smiley’ has been adopted and embraced by the nation! The Oral Health Promotion team engages in local events, media and distributes information to maximise on the National Smile Month opportunities.
Mouth Cancer Action Month runs for the whole month of November. The campaign raises awareness of the disease, its prevalence, the importance of checking our own mouth regularly and of going to the dentist. The Oral Health Promotion team promotes these messages and disseminates the campaign materials widely during the month.
Stoptober is a national campaign headed by Public Health England which encourages people across the country to stop smoking together on 1 October for 28 days (and beyond). Evidence shows that if a smoker can quit for 28 days they are five times more likely to stay smokefree. Motivation and support are provided before, during and for a period of time after the campaign month.
No Smoking Day is a campaign run by the British Heart Foundation. For one day in March each year smokers are offered help to quit by creating a supportive environment and by highlighting the many sources of help and support available.
The impact of smoking on oral health is significant and the oral health promotion team promotes these popular campaigns, working in partnership with local stop smoking teams.