It may be basic oral hygiene, but almost seven million of us in the UK regularly give cleaning our teeth the brush-off and admit to not brushing for two minutes twice a day. It’s hard to believe that taking four minutes out of our day to take care of our teeth is a task too much for us, especially considering the impact it could have, not just on the health of our mouth but our general health too.

Janet Goodwin Janet Goodwin BA(Hons) Business Management, board of trustee British Dental Health FoundationSo to lead the way and demonstrate just how valuable two minutes twice a day is, we’ve taken four minutes to talk to our very own Janet Goodwin, the newly-chosen President Elect of the British Dental Health Foundation.

Hello Janet. Congratulations on your new position! What was your journey into the world of dentistry like?

I began working at a local General Practice at 17 years old, I and another nurse took the first NEBDN dental nurse course to run in Leeds and thankfully passed. I then moved on the Leeds Dental Hospital initially as a staff nurse then senior nurse on the children’s department.

Returning from having my own children I worked for Bradford Community as a dental nurse and oral health educator during the day and in the evenings at the FE college teaching dental nurses and Oral Health Education. Enjoying the teaching side I went to work for YMCA training delivering many aspects of health and dental care which I enjoyed enormously. Then back to the dental hospital initially as tutor then nurse manager. It was at the hospital I began to get to grips with management and governance.

That’s quite a lot! What attracted you to the Foundation?

I was involved with the Foundation when delivering oral health education, using their resources and as a member. I have always followed its progress and been friends with Nigel for eons. I believe in the Foundation’s ethos, objectives and people, which is why I love being involved at this level.

We are a lovely bunch! How do you intend to build on the work of your predecessors?

Well I would like to re-enforce the great work that is already in place, but also introduce new programmes and resources. I also want to promote the charitable work we have achieved throughout the years and raise our profile in the public and professional environment.

I think we can all align with those aims. What do you do away from the Foundation?

I have my own business delivering management, education and governance primarily to the dental profession, and thoroughly enjoy being in charge of my own day. Personally I still play badminton, take my dog for long walks on the beach or moors wherever we are. Now a proud grandmother of Caleb who I try not to spoil too much.

As long as it’s not with sweets too often that’s OK! Tell us about your greatest achievement to date

It’s not really an achievement but going to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace was really special. My mum was a great royalist and would have been so proud.

That’s impressive! What’s the biggest change in the industry since you started out?

That’s easy. I can sum it up in three words – regulation, regulation, regulation!!!

Thanks Prime Minister Goodwin! What one piece of advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?

You only get out what you put in – if you only give 50 per cent that is all you will get.

Janet Goodwin with the Smiley with Fiona Ellwood National Smile MonthSound advice. What’s your favourite holiday destination?

The Greek Islands – they are so beautiful and very laid back and relaxing.

I love them too! OK. You have the opportunity to invite five people – past or present – to dinner party. Who would you invite and why?

Gordon Leck – my first dentist with a great sense of humour

Nelson Mandella – ethos, and politics

Marvin Gaye – singer extraordinaire

Alan Titchmarch – gardening tips

George Clooney – need say no more!

Haha! Loud and clear. What do you prefer – red wine or white wine?

White – preferably champagne!

A classy taste. Finally, what’s scarier – a horse-sized duck or 10 duck-sized horses?

Has to be duck as big as a horse – remember The Borrowers!


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

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