PDA encourages its member dentists to get involved in NCDHM by hosting district and local events such as classroom visits, mall events, free screening days or health fairs. The ADA's NCDHM Planning Guide
is a useful resource offering an array of information on how to get involved.
Planning an NCDHM event can be a challenging, yet rewarding, experience. The key to a successful program is to start early.
Establish a committee and delegate different responsibilities to each member. Place one or two people in charge of publicity, ordering materials and securing a location. NCDHM events are great opportunities for new members and new dentists to get involved in a society project. The committee should identify the following:
- Oral health issues affecting your community or target group. Suggested topics include baby bottle tooth decay, sealant education, fluoridation and the dangers of tobacco.
- Type of promotion that will help you best achieve your goals. For example, if you want to educate low-income parents about how to prevent baby bottle tooth decay, working with local Head Start programs would help you accomplish your goal.
- Goals of your promotion.
- Primary/target audience.
10 Ways To Get Involved
- Participate in a local health fair.
- Expand on PDA’s poster contest by offering prizes on the local or district level.
- Offer classroom presentations on the importance of good oral health to local preschools, Head Start programs or elementary schools.
- Contribute an oral health article to a school newsletter.
- Allow a student interested in a career in dentistry to shadow you or a member of your staff for a day.
- Contact your local post office about having NCDHM cancellation dies used throughout February.
- Set up a dental health information table at your local mall or library.
- Have your mayor locally proclaim February as National Children’s Dental Health Month. A proclamation can be a newsworthy kick-off to your NCDHM promotion.
- Host an Operation Kid Safe event at your office. While children and their parents wait to be fingerprinted, show oral health videos and pass out dental health information.
- Create a public service announcement to be aired on local radio or TV stations.
To find an NCDHM event in your area, contact your district or local NCDHM chair.
Don’t rely on word of mouth to get the word out, especially if this is a first-time event. Be proactive in your quest for publicity. Purchase an advertisement in your local daily or weekly newspaper. If your event is at a mall or library, ask the manager or director to have your event announced on the marquee. With permission, hang up flyers at the event location.
If one of your goals is to educate your community on dental health issues, PDA has templates for news releases and public service announcements.
After you host your NCDHM event, be sure to fill out PDA’s NCDHM publicity form to let us know about your event. Include a brief description and digital photos of your event, and you may be featured in an upcoming edition of the Pennsylvania Dental Journal.
Download the publicity form (PDF file).
Read the 2014 NCDHM Journal article (PDF file).