June is National Smile Month

This month, join Oral Health America, and participating sponsors, dental offices, community care providers, schools, oral health coalitions, and camps in encouraging children and adults not to forget their toothbrushes on summer vacation. National Smile Month promotes the importance of:

* Brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
* Visiting a dental care provider as often as they recommend
* Choosing healthy foods for a tooth-friendly and nutritious diet
* Effective oral health policies

"We welcome everyone's involvement in this effort to ensure that families and caregivers understand the importance of making oral care for all ages part of their daily routine," said Beth Truett, President and CEO, Oral Health America.

Participation in National Smile Month can include sharing the campaign messages with family and friends, or challenging your children, students, or patients to a two-minute "brushoff" to see who comes the closest in brushing their teeth for two minutes without a timer! Enter the Healthy Smile Contest, and share your photos and stories at www.oralhealthamerica.org.

Significant national attention to healthcare reform this month means that there has never been a more critical time to contact your elected officials to ask them to support oral health and oral healthcare. Be sure to send a letter or email, or make a phone call today to your state and national representatives, and to President Obama, stating the importance of oral health's inclusion in healthcare reform.

What You Can Do

* Place a National Smile Month button on your website! Email Kristen@oralhealthamerica.org to receive a free button and show your support.
* Download a template press release and letter to the editor that you can copy and edit, and send to your local media. Visit our How to Participate webpage for a template and examples.
* Write or call your elected officials today! Contact information is available at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml.
* Hold a National Smile Month event or activity. Download the National Smile Month Handbook for some good ideas on what to do, or call Oral Health America at (312) 836-9900 for a free copy via post.
* Enter the Healthy Smile Contest, and encourage your friend, relatives, patients and students to show off their healthy smiles as well!
* Visit the U.K. National Smile Month website, hosted by the International Dental Health Foundation, at www.nationalsmileweek.org.
* Visit the National Museum of Dentistry's fun and educational online tool in English and Spanish to teach kids about brushing and flossing, avoiding tobacco, and eating healthy, at www.MouthPower.org.

National Smile Month News

National Smile Month will be launched at The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore, MD, on June 5th. The Oral Health America Dental Survey on oral health and healthcare reform will be released at the launch to national press and also to Washington, DC, policy reporters.

Oral Health America and the Hispanic Dental Association collaborated on a National Smile Month press release that was issued to the Hispanic media on June 2.

National Smile Month originates in the U.K., hosted by the International Dental Health Foundation, which founded National Smile campaigns over 30 years ago. Our colleagues at the International Dental Health Foundation generously shared the concept and program materials with Oral Health America in 2008 to create the largest independent international oral health campaign! Visit www.nationalsmileweek.org to see how National Smile Month is celebrated across the Atlantic.

National Smile Month is sponsored by Patterson Dental, Dental Trade Alliance Foundation, UnitedHealthcare Dental, and other dental industry leaders.

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