World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is celebrated globally every year on 20 March—but with COVID-19 curtailing our movements, FDI World Dental Federation says now is the time to start thinking now about how best to mark the occasion.
The purpose of WOHD is to empower people with the tools and knowledge to prevent and control oral diseases, which affect nearly 3.5 billion people worldwide. WOHD encourages people to look after their oral health by adopting a good oral hygiene routine and managing risk factors. Preserving oral health can help keep the mind and body healthy too, as well as protect against the spread of infections.
For the next three years, the overarching theme for the WOHD campaign is ‘Be Proud of Your Mouth.’ With this empowering call to action, FDI hopes to motivate people to value and take care of their mouths and understand that by doing so, they can also help protect their general health and wellbeing.
People can show their support for the campaign by using the online #MouthProud custom poster tool to place an ornate art frame over their mouths—as a symbol that they recognise just how significant and important the mouth is—and make a personal commitment to prioritise their oral health. This can be safely done from home, and everyone can show their solidarity with the campaign and contribute to the global movement by sharing their images on the Mouth Proud Wall.
Each year, FDI records hundreds of WOHD events that reach millions of people worldwide, organised by its member dental associations and specialist groups, as well as the wider healthcare community. In 2021, FDI is working to ensure that every in-person celebration will respect local public health guidelines.
“The most important thing is that our World Oral Health Day celebrations be conducted safely,” FDI president Dr Gerhard Seeberger said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the nature and scale of in-person events, but with today’s technology, so much more is possible. Today, we have more time to organise low-risk, impactful campaign events for March 2021. I encourage everyone to visit www.worldoralhealthday.org and use the wealth of resources that are freely available.”