As part of National Smile Month, Whittington Hospital has hosted an event celebrating all aspects of dental health.

On May 31, 2024, Whittington Hospital held an event encouraging people to talk about dental health and participate in fun activities at various stands.

Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said, “We are delighted to be celebrating with Whittington Hospital this year, and we hope we will continue to do so for many years to come. Whittington's fantastic oral health promotion team have long been pioneers and great supporters of National Smile Month.

“It is fantastic to see events all over the UK celebrating National Smile Month. The more people involved from dental professionals to patients, the wider we can spread our message.

“Love your smile: our theme this year encompasses everything we need to do to improve our oral health.

“Our smile is important for looking after our dental health, socialising and even eating and drinking. We hope to encourage everyone to learn what makes a healthy mouth from daily hygiene habits to making small changes to our diet.”

Speaking at the event, Claire Dollery, CEO of the Whittington Hospital NHS Trust and a cardiologist, emphasised the importance of good oral care and its clinical correlation with cardiac health. She mentioned her experience of seeing patients with poor oral health who need full mouth clearance before cardiac surgery due to the risk of infection.

Claire recounted how rewarding children with sugary treats can easily lead to dental decay.

She stressed the importance of self-care and looking after one’s oral health should be a priority for everyone. Feeling healthy with good oral health will enable us to provide better patient care as we know happy staff correlate with the best healthcare.

Claire talked about the magical effect smiles have in sharing happiness and congratulated the oral health promotion team on their work and interventions towards patients in the community.

Patients and hospital staff enjoyed a fun-filled day learning about dental health. This included games to educate about the effect of sugar on teeth, smiley picture frames and colouring drawing sheets for children, and bite-size training sessions for staff.

National Smile Month is a great event that has been going on for many years. It celebrates all the wonderful aspects of dental health.

Sally McGregor, oral health promoter and her team at Whittington Health taking part have been celebrating and encouraging dental health for over twenty years.

Sally said, “Our team here have been participating in National Smile Month since 1997. It was National Smile week then, and we have participated across several NHS Trusts.

“It’s been our celebration to showcase our community dental services here. It’s been great to promote all the important dental health messages out there.”