Hello, and a warm welcome to the June edition of Word of Mouth.

National Smile Month – our campaign to dramatically improve oral health in the UK – comes to a close today for yet another year. And what a month it has been. National Smile Month 2014 has undoubtedly been one of the biggest and best yet, with oral health education and healthy mouth messages reaching millions of people throughout the country. As always, we have been delighted to see hundreds of specialised events promoting the importance of good oral health and hygiene in local communities – activities that really make a difference the increasing education and awareness of oral health, often in areas where they are needed the most.

Oral health in the UK has dramatically improved since our first campaign back in 1977. Huge advances in technology and dental treatment methods, the introduction of fluoride into toothpaste and a greater presence of dental education have all moved alongside our craving for the perfect smile. Our teeth as a country are now healthier and better looking than ever before but despite the undoubted progression in the quality of our oral health there are still many aspects of care, particularly in many disadvantaged areas of the UK, which need the support and time to develop. In 2014, National Smile Month has attempted to decrease the gap in oral health that currently exists between the socio-economic groups of the UK, to once again try and improve our health as a nation for the better.

Throughout the issue, we will be looking at just some of the reasons why you should keep up good oral health and why a healthy mouth really does give you a better chance of having a healthy body. We will take an in-depth look into our nationwide survey and what it says about our attitudes and behaviours towards oral health and we also have some excellent guest articles too!

I hope you enjoy this edition of Word of Mouth and have had an enjoyable National Smile Month in 2014. Over the past 30 years, the campaign has coincided with major improvements of oral health in the UK and continues to provide everyone with the opportunity to participate in that continuing challenge.

Front Cover Word of Mouth 2014 June Issue 20

Written by Dr Nigel Carter OBE for Dental Health Blog



Oral Health Foundation

The Oral Health Foundation is a charity that works to improve oral health by providing education, advice, and support to millions of people every year, changing lives for the better. Our mission is to support others in achieving a healthier life through better oral health. Our vision is to live in a world where everybody has a healthy mouth and is free of dental disease. Poor oral health can have a harmful and devastating effect on a person’s life – both for their physical health and mental wellbeing. We are determined to help more people achieve good oral health and have a better quality of life. Sadly, oral disease remains common, across the life course. We are taking the challenge to reduce the harm caused by poor oral health and the responsibility to create a healthier future for everybody. We do this because we believe that everybody deserves to have good oral health. To make sure this happens, by 2024, we will:

    • Work towards decreasing the prevalence of oral disease across communities.
    • Increase the number of people accessing our help and information services.
    • Diversify our range of resources to reach more communities.
    • Successfully campaign for policies which help people achieve healthier lives.
    • Generate new and nurture existing income streams that enable us to deliver our charitable objectives.

We are going to achieve success by:

    • Running awareness campaigns like National Smile Month and Mouth Cancer Action Month.
    • Giving anybody who needs it direct support through our Dental Helpline.
    • Influencing policy on subjects like dental access, sugar, and tobacco.
    • Providing consumer advice on oral health care products and working alongside manufacturers to make sure products do what they claim to do.
    • Creating resources and information that communicates positive oral health messages.
    • Working alongside others who share our passion for health and wellbeing.

To find out more about us, visit our website at https://www.dentalhealth.org/

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