Anti-Sugar Dad Launches National ‘Design-a-Smile’ Competition to encourage greater awareness of oral health among families after son’s horror tooth extraction


Hearing your child needs to have an emergency tooth extraction is something no parent wants to hear, but when you feel like you could have done more to prevent it, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. This happened to Tushar Srivastava, dad and founder of the digital Redbook, Nurturey. Now he’s launching the ‘Design-a-Smile’ Competition to find the best representation of a smile.

“We wanted to do something that would really resonate with how people are feeling right now and give families the opportunity to create their own smile. When I was discussing ideas with the team this felt like it would generate feelings of positivity, because seeing a smile makes everyone feel better”, says Tushar.

The Design-a-Smile competition has been timed to coincide with National Smile Month, a month of activities led by the Oral Health Foundation to raise awareness of important health issues.

“Seeing my son in pain and not being able to sleep was the worst feeling in the world. After the doctor told us that Ehaan would need emergency surgery to remove a tooth, I felt guilty, like I hadn’t fulfilled my duty as a parent. He needed to take time off school and couldn’t sleep at night. I couldn’t understand why it was happening because we kept treats to a minimum and Ehaan was brushing his teeth twice a day.”

It was only when Tushar heard another parent at the dentist celebrate that their child had been to the dentist 20 times in 10 years, that Tushar realised they had missed something. “We didn’t know that 6-monthly check-ups are recommended, and that they are free at NHS Dental Practices”, Tushar added.

Feeling like he had failed his son and knowing that information might have prevented his son losing his tooth motivated Tushar to do something that would stop other parents from going through something similar. So, this June for National Smile Month, he has launched a national campaign to spread awareness of good oral health. The idea is for people to create a smile out of whatever materials they can find at their home; crayons, pens, paints, pottery, clay, fruit, leaves from the garden.

The competition launches on Wednesday 3rd June and closes on Monday 15th June; all entries must be submitted before midnight on 15th June to be considered. Want to enter? Submit your smile design here.

The star prize is a £100 Next gift voucher; plus, two vouchers of £50 to the second-place winners, and 5 subsequent winners will all receive £20 gift vouchers each.

This year’s ‘Design-a-Smile’ Competition will be judged by Dr Snehal Radia – co-founder of Together Dental, Katie Dullaghan – Oral Health Educator and the author of George and the Happy Tooth, and Clare Hanbury – CEO and Founder at Children for Health, a charity dedicated to health promotion.

In addition, all winning designs will get the opportunity to feature on a range of stickers distributed to children at UK-based dental practices!

Families can enter the competition on Nurturey’s Facebook page and download ‘Design-a-Smile’ Competition awareness poster here.

About Nurturey

Nurturey is a smart digital Redbook – to manage children’s development from pregnancy to childhood. It aims to be the default Redbook for NHS and UK parents.

It’s built on three pillars: it digitally tracks development indicators; builds insights to identify emerging needs; and guides parents with algorithmically targeted information

Nurturey includes a dental health tool which helps parents to track every time a child gets a new tooth, on a 3D model of the mouth; parents will also receive reminders to book dental appointments, as well as NHS verified information and advice relating to oral health.

Nurturey product video

Nurturey – Home Screen overview

About Happy Teeth

Happy Teeth make brushing teeth with your child a fun loving routine! Children’s oral healthcare is in crisis in the UK. A recent survey has shown that 1 in 4 Primary School age children already have tooth decay. Last year 8000 children had to have teeth extracted in hospital. The effect of this is pain and suffering to the child, absence from school and the cost to the NHS is in the millions! Tooth decay is 100% preventable. So why are we letting our kids down? 

About Children for Health
Children for Health is dedicated to the promotion of health education in developing countries, focused on developing children as agents of change and communicators of essential health messages in their families and communities.

Between October 2019 and March 2020, Children for Health worked with experts to develop 10 messages for oral health for children to learn and share. These were then visualised on a two sided poster for parents and educators and this can be downloaded here.

About Together Dental

Together Dental was founded by three dentists with a passion for health care and an innate desire to serve local communities. Snehal Radia, Parish Vaid and Sanjay Shah began their vision in April 2010 with their first practice, Clacton Dental Care. They vowed to create a flagship practice for the local community. 

The group has gone from strength to strength with dedication to patient care is always the guiding principle in everything they do.


About Author

Sarah Handley

Sarah Handley is a mum to a girl and step mum to a boy. She is also a visibility coach for Tech 4 Good apps; helping app founders get next-level traction and awareness for their apps through great messaging and PR strategies

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