World Oral Health Day
Every year on March 20th, we celebrate World Oral Health Day. It was first declared in 2007 and was originally celebrated on September 12th, which was the birth date of FDI founder Dr. Charles Godon. In 2013, the campaign was fully activated after the date was changed to March 20th to avoid conflict with the FDI World Dental Congress that was slated for September.
What’s the significance of the new date?
The new date was chosen to reflect that:
- Seniors must have a total of 20 natural teeth at the end of their life to be considered healthy
- Children should possess 20 baby teeth
- Healthy adults must have a total of 32 teeth and 0 dental cavities; on a numerical basis, these numbers can be expressed or translated as 3/20, hence March 20th!
Who organizes World Oral Health Day?
World Oral Health Day is an initiative of FDI World Dental Federation; an organization that brings together the world of dentistry with the aim of achieving optimal oral health for everyone. FDI represents more than one million dentists worldwide and works with its members to raise awareness about the importance of good oral health and its vital role in securing overall health and well-being. This means safeguarding the health of people worldwide through the improved prevention, treatment and control of oral diseases.
Why is World Oral Health Day important?
Oral diseases are a major health concern for many countries and negatively impact people throughout their lives. Oral diseases lead to pain and discomfort, social isolation and loss of self-confidence, and they are often linked to other serious health issues. And yet, there is no reason to suffer: most oral health conditions are largely preventable and can be treated in their early stages.
Who is World Oral Health Day targeted to?
There are several different audiences, here’s a look:
- Individuals to inspire people to take personal action;
- Schools and youth groups to deliver learning activities about oral health;
- Oral health professionals and the wider healthcare community to educate the populations they serve;
- Governments and policymakers to champion better oral health for all.
How to get involved in World Oral Health Day
FDI relies on individual action worldwide to roll out World Oral Health Day in each country and create a truly global movement. Any contribution, big or small, can have a significant impact on improving the oral health of populations globally.
This year’s theme or campaign message is ‘Be Proud of Your Mouth’; i.e. value and take care of it! The goal is to inspire change by focusing on the importance of oral health at every stage of life because, no matter what age you are, caring for your mouth and looking after your oral health is important.
Check out World Oral Health Day stories here!