Loving Your Teeth: Dental Health Week 2022 Recap

September 5, 2022

For this year’s Dental Health Week (DHW), which ran from August 1-7, Australians were urged to love their teeth, with a campaign concept devised by talented ADA member, Dr. Elice Chen. The promotion of the importance of personal dental care was timely, with some Australians having taken a dip in their oral health during the Covid-19 era, and many just returning to the dentist.

Dental Health Week 2022 has proven successful with the ADA undertaking several initiatives to improve Australia’s knowledge of oral health, including featuring ADA spokespersons in the media to promote the importance of oral health during the week-long event that spanned from a significant social media presence to driving the message home.

ADA member gift

Colgate-Palmolive kindly provided ADA members with their Bright Smiles, Bright Futures (BSBF) oral health education kits as part of a collaborative giveaway. 370 members received up to three BSBF kits each to use in their practice or during visits to childcare centers and schools.

Oral health education for non-dental practitioners

In an effort to increase the oral health knowledge of non-dental professionals, the ADA is committed to hosting webinars for other health associations and organizations. During Dental Health Week, ADA hosted a webinar for members of the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners (NAATSIHWP) to provide an update. oral health day. The webinar was moderated by Indigenous dental practitioners, Dr. Georgia Clarke and Ms. Kirrily Phillips.

Social media campaign

ADA ran an awareness campaign on Instagram and Facebook with mothers of young children, who were the most interactive audience in previous social media campaigns, chosen as a target audience in 2022. The campaign increased the exposure of teeth .org.au and inspired viewers to book an exam by finding a dentist using ADA’s Find A Dentist search engine. In total, the campaign achieved 3.5 million impressions with a reach of 916,000 individual users and 15,000 clicks to discover more information. In addition to this campaign, a giveaway was run on the ADA dents.org.au Instagram page to help a member of the public and their friend show their love of teeth by each winning an Oral B iO electric toothbrush.

State by State

Colgate-Palmolive has also graciously donated toothbrushes and toothpaste to each ADA branch for oral health activities in their respective states and territories. Each state and territory has engaged with the local community to promote oral health and enable oral health care. ADA NSW kicked off DHW with a successful advocacy webinar featuring Professor Donald Chi. Two ADA NSW members produced engaging oral health education videos in Hindi and Vietnamese, and toothbrushes, toothpaste and resources were provided to various communities and the hospital to Westmead children.

ADA Northern Territory volunteers and graduating dental students provided oral health aids and interacted with the local Darwin community at the Teddy Bear Picnic; a community initiative organized over the ECS weekend.

As DHW coincided with Homeless Week 2022, ADA Tasmania provided toothpaste and toothbrush donations to local welfare organizations to enable disadvantaged Australians to take care of their oral health. Branch volunteers also held an oral health education session with the Red Cross Bicultural Health Program for Refugees.

ADA South Australia visited and provided toothbrushes and toothpaste to social welfare organisations, Catherine House and Hutt St Centre.

ADA Queensland provided 10 winning members with toothbrush and toothpaste packs to promote oral health in their community, including visiting local primary schools, providing free dental care in Aboriginal communities, decorating of their dental practices and the donation of oral health resources.

ADA Victoria collaborated with First Step, a community support service for addiction and mental health. ADA Vic and eviDent worked with First Step to create co-designed oral health interventions and provide toothbrushes and toothpaste. Members of the Oral Health Committee also took over the ADAVB Instagram page during DHW.

The weekend before DHW, ADA Western Australia attended the Baby & Child Expo where they provided oral health resources and advice to parents and carers. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and bad weather, other ADA WA events have been postponed until later in 2022.

Significant media presence

DHW 2022 garnered tremendous media interest, in part due to the use of the ADA’s 2021 Consumer Oral Health Survey in stories, press releases and interview topics. ADA, resulting in listener, viewer and reader numbers beyond anything seen before.

There were a few elements of this year’s media campaign that differed from previous years. First, ADA had a total of 16 spokespersons this year – where in previous campaigns there were only a few. Due to the competing needs of patient lists, differences in time zones, the need for a local voice and different skill sets, this number of clinicians was essential to meet the number and diversity of media requests.

Radio was the top medium used with a total of 1,845 interviews and mentions (including syndications) of metropolitan, regional and rural radio stations, compared to approximately 350 the previous year, a year-on-year increase of 527%.

There were also 114 print articles, 96 television articles and 260 online articles. This represents a total of 2,315 interviews and mentions, an increase of 352% from the 657 visits in 2021.

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Thank you to Colgate-Palmolive and Oral B for your kind Dental Health Week donations, and to all ADA members and dental practitioners who participated in Dental Health Week to promote the importance oral health in their practice and in the local community.

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