Celebrating World Oral Health Day

Although it may seem strange to have a day to celebrate good oral health, oral health is incredibly important. When you consider that not looking after your teeth has proven to have a negative impact on a person’s overall health and happiness, it starts to make a lot more sense.

By taking good care of your teeth, you can help to preserve the function of your mouth and the appearance of your smile, which in turn affects your confidence and personal and professional relationships and success. You can also help to protect yourself against numerous related medical conditions including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and even cancer.

When is World Oral Health Day?

Organized by the FDI World Dental Federation, World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is celebrated annually on March 20th. It is the start of a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance of oral hygiene, with the aim of supporting governments and health associations to work with the general public to achieve healthier mouths and happier lives.

How is World Oral Health Day promoted?

Dozens of campaigns by national dental associations from across the globe and activities in more than 130 countries help to spread awareness, and each year these campaigns now follow a specific theme. In previous years, themes have included Smile for Life (2015), It all starts here: Healthy Mouth Healthy Body (2016) and Live Mouth Smart (2017). Even though World Oral Health Day has already passed this month, there are still a number of things you can do to celebrate and promote oral health for the rest of the year, and the rest of your life!

How can I get involved with World Oral Health Day?

World oral health day is a global event and relies on the participation and commitment of healthcare professionals, government and other official decision-makers and individuals to make it a success. There are many different ways that you can get involved, allowing you to celebrate on smaller or more global levels. Every involvement, no matter how big or small, can help to make a difference.

Share resources

There are many different resource materials available online including posters, brochures, infographics, campaign videos and even interactive mobile games. Distributing resources helps to spread vital information and awareness about the importance of oral health. Even better, it is really easy to do even if you are short of time or support!

Be social

When it comes to finding out and sharing things that are interesting, funny or important, a growing number of people turn to social media. With just the touch of a button, you can reach your entire network of friends, family and colleagues, and by using a hashtag you can make your posts searchable and visible to a global audience. For 2017, the two main hashtags used to talk about WOHD are #LiveMouthSmart and #WOHD2017. Share resources in the virtual as well as the real world by posting them on social and using hashtags to raise awareness of the importance of oral health.

Organize an event

Another way of getting involved in WOHD can be by organizing an event in your community. You could reach out to local oral health professionals, asking them to come along and talk about why dental care is so important. Oral-health-related games such as designing a toothbrush, cleaning fake teeth and educating people about sugar consumption and brushing techniques can also be extremely helpful. It doesn’t matter how big or small your event is, every action contributes towards raising awareness.

Start a petition

Starting a petition is an effective way to raise awareness and affect change in your area, and there are many changes that you could help support such as reducing the amount of unhealthy food and drink offered in schools or working towards more affordable access to vital dental products such as fluoride toothpaste or bacteria-busting mouthwashes. Get sharing your petition on social media to obtain even more signatures and support!

Get involved in World Oral Health Day today! What are you waiting for?