Geneva, 23 January 2014 – The world is gearing up to celebrate World Oral Health Day 2014, which this year focuses specifically on the importance of healthy mouths and teeth in our everyday activities.
World Oral Health Day is an international day to celebrate the benefits of a healthy mouth and to promote worldwide awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance to everyone, old and young, of practising good oral hygiene.
Raising awareness around the globe is vital as 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases in their lifetime. FDI helps its member states lobby their governments in order to support prevention, detection and treatment programmes.
The good news is that global interest in World Oral Health Day is growing rapidly, with more than 50 countries to date planning to organize activities – a number that is increasing on a daily basis.
As National Dental Associations, Student Dental Associations and World Oral Health Day Partners ramp up their preparations, their challenge will be to match or outdo last year’s vast array of activities.
Among the highlights from 2013 were a “Free Oral Health Camp” in Pakistan, which provided a free dental check-up to over 2,600 patients; citizens in Nigeria achieving a new World Record with 300,000 children simultaneously brushing their teeth; and the opening of the NASDAQ by FDI representatives and members of the American Dental Association (ADA).
This year, the list of planned activities includes: in Asia, a new World Record attempt for the number of people brushing their teeth at the same time; in the Baltic region, a competition for children to interpret the campaign slogan ‘celebrating healthy smiles’ in an art competition and have their work displayed in galleries across the region; in India, a planned national educational tour visiting schools across the country; and, in Ukraine, the building of a giant photo montage of healthy smiles.
WOHD 2014 campaign posters are now available to all National Dental Associations and other specialized groups for use in their local communities. And slots in radio shows are being booked and newspaper articles are being written to promote the upcoming activities and spread awareness.
But it’s not just National Dental Associations who are heavily supporting World Oral Health Day - dental students around the world have an important role to play too. Organized under the umbrella of the International Association of Dental Students, the various student associations will go out onto the streets, into schools, and around their communities to inform and help improve oral health. Students around the globe have shown such a keen interest in promoting healthy smiles that the number of Dental Student Associations participating in 2014 has almost doubled from 2013.
“Reaching local communities on World Oral Health Day 2014 is a priority for FDI. It can only be achieved thanks to the major effort by the National Dental Associations as well as dental students who prepare novel and exciting activities worldwide” stated FDI President Dr. Tin Chun Wong. “When I see the number of organizations that have already signed up to celebrate WOHD in 2014, I realize that this year’s activities will help us spread the word on optimal oral health even wider.”
As 20th March approaches, more and more people around the world will be preparing activities to celebrate healthy smiles. To find out if there is an activity near you or to get involved yourself, check out the new World Oral Health Day website at www.worldoralhealthday.org. This site will provide the latest news and a range of downloadable material, as well as hosting a world map pinpointing all the activities that will take place this coming 20th March to celebrate World Oral Health Day 2014.