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News / March 17, 2010

New National Smile Month to launch in Ireland

by Guy Hiscott

The International Dental Health Foundation has announced that it is extending its National Smile Month campaign to Ireland for the first time, with a guide specially produced for the Southern Ireland market.

This year’s campaign slogan, ‘Teeth4Life’, highlights the importance of your patients looking after their teeth and maintaining them for life, as well as stressing that a healthy diet can improve the quality of their lives.

The campaign will take place between 16 May and 16 June and will encourage dentists to promote their practices, and for patients to maintain regular dental visits.

Chief Executive of the International Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, believes this year’s ‘Teeth4Life’ campaign will get the nation talking about the importance of good oral health and he anticipates a successful campaign.

He said: ‘When the first ever Smile campaign was launched more than 35 years ago, one in three people over the age of 16 had no teeth at all.  Now that is something you really have to think about twice to appreciate.

‘Fortunately, these days the situation is a much happier one. Most of us expect to keep our teeth for life and indeed do so.  National Smile Month is all about educating people on how to make the best of their smile.’

In the lead-up to this year’s campaign, evidence of the first documented link between a foetal death and the mother’s pregnancy-related gum disease emerged. The case emphasised the importance of preventive dental treatment and good oral health practice.

‘New scientific evidence of systemic links between oral health and overall body health continues to mount. Gum disease has been linked to diabetes, strokes and pregnancy problems as well as heart disease, so it is vital to look after oral hygiene. Almost all of us suffer from gum disease at some point in our lives, but is easy to control it and prevent serious risks,’ Dr Carter added.

Over the years National Smile Month has been a great way for dental practices to organise themed events and publicise their business, as well as spreading a good oral health message to the public.

If you are interested in organising an event for National Smile Month, from April onwards you will be able to find further information, a copy of the 2010 guide, event ideas, downloadable materials and sponsorship forms, as well as a chance to register your activity, at

Ordering campaign products from the website or telephoning the Foundation will also give your event the greatest response, giving it the chance to pick up valuable media activity in the process.

In addition, you can enter your National Smile Month event into the annual Dental Awards ‘Best National Smile Month event’ category.

For more details, please contact the Foundation at