Loving their teeth: Dental Health Week 2022 wrap-up

5 September 2022

For this year’s Dental Health Week (DHW), which ran from 1 to 7 August, Australians were asked to love their teeth, with a campaign concept designed by talented ADA member, Dr Elice Chen. Promoting the importance of dental self-care was a timely one, with some Aussies having let their oral health fall by the wayside during the Covid-19 period, and with a good number only just getting back to the dentist.

Dental Health Week 2022 proved successful with ADA undertaking several initiatives to improve Australian’s oral health knowledge, including featuring ADA spokespeople heavily in the media to promote the importance of oral health during the week-long event which ran from and a significant presence on social media to drive the message home.

ADA member giveaway

Colgate-Palmolive kindly supplied 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 for use in their practice or when visiting early childhood 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 holding webinars for other health associations and organisations. During Dental Health Week, ADA held a webinar for members of the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners (NAATSIHWP) to provide an oral health update. The webinar was facilitated by Indigenous dental practitioners, Dr Georgia Clarke, and Ms Kirrily Phillips.

Social media campaign

ADA conducted an awareness campaign on Instagram and Facebook with mothers of young children, who have been the most interactive audience in past social media campaigns, chosen as the target audience in 2022. The campaign increased exposure of teeth.org.au and prompted viewers to book a check-up by finding a dentist using ADA’s Find A Dentist search engine. Overall, the campaign achieved 3.5 million impressions with a reach of 916,000 individual users and 15,000 click throughs to discover further information. In addition to this campaign, a giveaway was run on ADA’s teeth.org.au Instagram page to help a member of the public and their friend show their teeth love by each winning an Oral B iO powered toothbrush.

State-by-state

Colgate-Palmolive also kindly donated toothbrushes and toothpastes to each ADA Branch for oral health activities within their respective states and territories. Each state and territory got involved 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, toothpastes and resources were provided to various communities and the Children’s Hospital Westmead.

ADA Northern Territory volunteers and final year dental students provided oral health aides and interacted with the local Darwin community at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic; a community initiative held on the weekend of DHW.

As DHW coincided with Homelessness Week 2022, ADA Tasmania provided toothpaste and toothbrush donations to local welfare organisations to enable disadvantaged Australians to care for 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 toothpastes to 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, this included, visiting local primary schools, providing free dental treatment in indigenous communities, decorating their dental practices, and donating oral health resources.

ADA Victoria worked together with First Step, a community support service for addiction and mental health. ADA Vic and eviDent have been working with First Step to create co-designed oral health interventions and providing toothbrushes and toothpastes. 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 and Children’s Expo where they provided oral health resources and advice to parents and carers. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 and poor weather, ADA WA’s other events have been postponed until later in 2022.

Considerable media presence

DHW 2022 enjoyed a huge uptake in media interest, thanks in part to leveraging of the ADA’s 2021 Consumer Oral Health Survey in ADA’s stories, press releases and interview topics, which resulted in listener, viewer, and reader figures beyond anything seen before.

There were a couple of elements of this year’s media campaign which differed from previous years. Firstly, ADA had a total of 16 spokespeople this year – where in past campaigns, it has been just a few. Due to the competing needs of patient lists, time zone differences, the need for a local voice and different skillsets, this number of clinicians was critical to meeting the number and diversity of media requests.

Radio was the number one medium used with a total of 1,845 metro, regional and rural radio interviews and mentions (including syndications), compared to around 350 for the previous year, a 527% year-on-year (YOY) increase.

There were also 114 print stories, 96 TV items and 260 online pieces. This amounts to a total of 2,315 interviews and mentions, a 352% increase on the 657 hits from 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 took part in Dental Health Week to promote the importance of oral health within their practice and local community.

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