National Oral Health Month Highlights

April 8, 2003 - Ottawa - Through April, CDA organizes a National Oral Health Month (NOHM) advertising and media campaign that reaches millions of Canadians and raises awareness of the value of good oral health and the importance of regular visits to the dentist.

For this year's NOHM, CDA once again chose as its slogan Oral health - good for life, symbolizing the possible link between oral disease and other health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, as well as pre-term and low-birth-weight babies. Although researchers are just beginning to understand how this link works, evidence is mounting that a healthy mouth is essential for a healthy life.

CDA is teaming up with Colgate to promote this year's NOHM theme through an in-store display campaign. CDA/Colgate Oral health - good for life stands are on display at 200 Wal-Mart stores across Canada. These displays carry brochures, which include CDA messaging on the importance of a healthy mouth and regular dental exams as part of a healthy lifestyle.

CDA is also working with Colgate on a media and public relations campaign to highlight NOHM and deliver the Oral health - good for life message. Transit shelter advertisements focusing on the importance of good oral health are now being displayed in high-traffic areas in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa.

CDA is also communicating its NOHM message in the April section of the Toys "R" Us 2003 Creative Kids Calendar - an effective way to reach parents, while providing fun activities aimed at educating children about the importance of taking care of their smiles.

To communicate the importance of oral health to Canadians with diabetes, CDA has placed a message in the April edition of Diabetes Care News, the Canadian Diabetes Association newsletter distributed to diabetes educators across the country. The message explains how complications caused by diabetes affect the oral health of a person with diabetes; educators are asked to remind their patients of how important it is for diabetics to prevent gum disease through proper oral hygiene and regular dental exams.

CDA has also produced a 30-second commercial for national television, which is being broadcast through April on the Life Network, Prime, the W (Women's) Network and RDI (Réseau de l'information). By the end of the month, this message will have reached more than six million viewers across Canada.

As well, CDA has teamed up with the National Post to produce a four-page oral health insert, to appear in the Arts and Life section of the April 15 edition. The insert features articles on dental products and plans, health care reform and academic issues in dentistry. This joint venture with a national daily newspaper is a cost-effective vehicle through which to communicate CDA's oral health message. The insert was originally scheduled to run in the National Post's April 5 edition.

To generate media coverage for its NOHM message, CDA used the services of News Canada to produce a multimedia package that was disseminated to radio and TV stations across the country. Oral health articles were developed for print and distributed to English- and French-Canadian daily, weekly and community newspapers. Two-minute radio and TV segments were developed, including interviews with CDA president Dr. Tom Breneman and president-elect Dr. Louis Dubé. Through this initiative, the NOHM message reached three million Canadians.


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