“Come together right now over me” The Beatles

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  Posted by: The Probe      2nd November 2017

The obvious focus in dentistry this month is mouth cancer. The Oral Health Foundation’s Mouth Cancer Action Month runs throughout November and is designed to raise awareness of the disease and help both the general population and the profession identify the early signs for quick diagnoses and increased survival rates.

As in previous years, the campaign offers plenty of opportunities for individuals and groups to get involved. The Blue Ribbon Appeal encourages you to show your support by purchasing and wearing your blue ribbon badge. The Blue Lip Selfie initiative is another favourite – whether you decide to buy your plastic blue lips or proudly don the blue lipstick, social media is awash with teams getting involved with the #bluelipselfie.

Further utilising the power of social media, the Oral Health Foundation organised a Thunderclap, which the BSDHT is delighted to have supported. The idea was that with lots of people posting a message at the same time, it was more likely to be heard by the masses. So, on 1st November at midday, the BSDHT joined hundreds of other pages in posting the #mouthcanceraction message on our social media accounts to help spread the word and show a united front against mouth cancer.

If you haven’t already, it’s no too late to get involved. Promoting the dangers of mouth cancer throughout your practice and encouraging your patients to engage with the campaign will all help towards raising awareness. Posters about the early signs and symptoms or risk factors of the disease will help educate patients and offering them the chance to take their own blue lip selfie will inject fun for all ages.

Mouth Cancer Action Month is just one campaign designed to raise awareness of certain health conditions and encourage the population to be aware of the danger signs. As many of you will have noticed by now, November is also known as ‘Movember’ in association with the Movember Foundation’s efforts to raise awareness of men’s health. Gentlemen across the globe are sporting some fantastic moustaches in order to join the cause and raise funds for the Foundation. There is also the chance for women to get involved by challenging themselves to get physically active and raise donations for men’s health, or to organise fundraising events.

The Foundation itself supports research into men’s health and is committed to improving the way health services reach men. Funded solely by donations from the general public, it focuses on projects to raise awareness of everything from prostate and testicular cancer to mental health and suicide prevention. Why not get involved with both and combine #movember with a #bluelipselfie?

Both these campaigns have gained much momentum over the past few years, using the popularity of social media and other platforms to spread their messages far and wide. They build on the concept of bringing people together and using one united voice to effectively ‘shout louder’ and have a greater impact.

This is very much aligned with the BSDHT’s approach to our own projects. Particularly with regards to our current venture of challenging the Medicines Act and campaigning for exemptions to the prescription-only medications, we are looking for all dental hygienists and dental therapists, as well as dentists and dental nurses, to get involved. By sharing your stories about how the lack of prescribing rights has affected the care you were able to provide patients, you can support our cause and add your voice to the chorus. Simply send your experiences to prescribing@bsdht.org.uk to get involved.

For now, I would encourage everyone to continue doing what they can to raise awareness of the diseases and health conditions that destroy so many lives every year. #mouthcanceraction #movember!

For more information about this campaign or about the BSDHT, please visit www.bsdht.org.uk, email enquiries@bsdht.org.uk or call 01788 575050


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