Healthier mouths achieve happier lives — that’s the motto of the World Oral Health Day campaign. The year-long campaign is launched every year on March 20th as part of a movement to create more awareness about the importance of having good oral health. The goal is to bring together all members of communities — government, health associations, and the public, to work toward preventing oral disease and maintaining mouth health.
The History of The World Oral Health Day Campaign
Although March 20, 2013 was the first date the campaign was widely recognized, it had its roots further back to 2007. The campaign was started by FDI World Dental Federation, a worldwide organization of dental professionals representing over 135 countries. The first celebration had originally taken place in September, but was later moved to March 20 for two reasons – September conflicted with an important Dental Congress meeting of the organization, and the significance of the numbers “32” and “20” could be represented in the date March 20, or 3/20. (Adults should have 32 healthy natural teeth, and babies or seniors should have 20).
Each year, the campaign focuses on a specific theme to target awareness and improvement efforts in that area. Past themes have included:
2013: Healthy Teeth for a Healthy Life
2014: Celebrating Healthy Smiles
2015: Smile for Life!
2016: Healthy mouth, Healthy Body
Each theme is specific enough to spark focused action but broad enough to be able to include individuals from all walks of life within its significance. The first year’s theme in 2013, for example, focused on the recognition that oral health problems can be just as lethal as other risk factors for chronic disease. Last year’s theme, “Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body” focused on a holistic view of oral health being one in the same as overall health.
Participating organizations get access to the campaign website, where they can get promotional materials such as posters, logos, and more to raise awareness of the celebration. Each year, the number of countries taking part in the campaign continues to increase, which shows that a growing number of world leaders are recognizing oral health to be important.
World Oral Health Day 2017 Campaign: Live Mouth Smart
This year’s theme is “Live Mouth Smart” — understanding that your oral health can affect your quality of life now and later on. This campaign focuses on four main points: safeguarding your oral health, avoiding risk factors, understanding that oral health is more than just a nice smile, and getting involved with the campaign’s activities. Major partners sponsor events all over the world to help spread the word. This year in Nigeria, for example, Pepsodent sponsored a “Health Walk,” which, as part of the “Brush Day and Night Campaign” will seek to educate millions of Nigerian families on best oral health practices.
The World Oral Health Day Campaign is also being celebrated widely on social media, with the hashtags #WOHD17 and #LiveMouthSmart. Premade headers are available on their website so people can show their support online. Posters and other pamphlets or resources are available for use on the website as well.
Although March 20, 2017, is the official launch date of this campaign, the message of fostering and sustaining good oral health goes on all year. The FDI World Dental Federation has already created a sense of urgency around the issue of oral health, and the campaign and movement will hopefully continue to grow and change habits and lives of many individuals around the world.
If you have any questions about how to take care of your teeth, or if you’d like to book an appointment with Chicago’s number one dentistry, Water Tower Dental Care, contact us today.