Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer for many. Independence Day falls in the middle. And, we all wind down the season come Labor Day. There’s one summer event to celebrate, however, which lasts the entire month of June: National Smile Month!
Originally known as National Smile Week, the celebration was first started in the United Kingdom more than 30 years ago by the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF). In 2009, National Smile Month was celebrated internationally for the first time when the BDHF and its international arm partnered with Oral Health America to bring the event to the United States.
If you want to celebrate National Smile Month (and why wouldn’t you?!), start by talking to your local dentist about events happening in your community – or check with your children’s school to see if they’re hosting any National Smile Month programs. If not, you could volunteer to organize one. Maybe your local dentist would be interested in partnering with you to help teach kids the benefits of good oral health.
With its message focused on the importance of brushing, good nutrition and regular dental visits, there are also many great ways to plan your own family’s National Smile Month celebration at home:
- Give yourself a gift. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months – or sooner if the bristles appear frayed. Pick up a new one for you – or buy a batch of new brushes for the whole family.
- Say cheese in two ways. Take the opportunity to talk to your kids about healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables and low-fat cheeses. Or show off those healthy, happy smiles with a family portrait. Every time you flip through the album, your family’s happy faces can remind you to celebrate oral health all year long.
- Help bring a smile to somebody else. Teach your kids the importance of giving back with a family volunteer day at a local charity. You may even find an oral-health focused program in your community that seeks to provide dental care and other services to those who can’t afford regular dental check-ups.
Good oral health is always a great reason to smile – and that’s what National Smile Month is really all about. For more ideas on how to make National Smile Month a celebration of dental health in your family, visit oralhealthamerica.org.