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Miles of smiles - National Smile Month

National smile month

This year's National Smile Month, which runs from 19 May until 19 June 2014, is aiming to be the biggest and best National Smile Month yet, in encouraging us to improve our oral health.

As part of National Smile Month, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust's Oral Health Team is running a local 'Miles of Smiles' campaign, with the aim of raising awareness and education of positive oral health and engaging with local communities throughout the UK and overseas about the importance of a healthy mouth.

Trust staff, family and friends are encouraged to take a 'Smiley selfie' photograph with a 'smiley stick' against a well-known landmark either in the UK or across the globe.

The 'smiley stick' is a big white smile on a stick, which also gives information on the reverse on the basics of oral health care.

Julie King, Oral Health Promotion Lead, said, "Our goal is to help get oral health back on the map, and help people to realise the true importance and value of their smile.

"Using a worldwide mapping system, we'll track the global locations and to add up the number of miles that the 'smiley' has travelled. The furthest points so far include New Zealand and the Great Wall of China!"

Those taking part will also be asked about the benefits of good oral health within their lives and jobs, such as helping to improve their appearance, confidence and general health.

The key messages on the 'smiley stick' include:
 
• Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
• Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
• Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

The Trust's oral health team has launched the 'miles of smiles' campaign, to see how far a smile can go. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out! 

'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital