Oral health is a
vital aspect of wellbeing that is often not considered a priority by many.
Deprived oral health and untimely treatment of oral diseases greatly impact the
quality of life of an individual, and it largely goes unnoticed. One of the
most basic physiological needs, such as eating is affected by oral ill health.
A beautiful smile with a white and healthy set of teeth is a sign of a good
health and creates an impression that you are approachable
and positive; both of which are important characteristics
for professional and social growth. A confident smile instills a sense of
serenity and is one of the keys to success.
FDI World Dental
Federation, an international organization of dental professionals initiated
World Oral Health Day (WOHD) as a global health campaign to raise awareness on
and related issues. World Oral
Health Day is celebrated every year on 20th
March, in more than 70 countries, and various activities are conducted to
commemorate the same. This day is considered as a platform to convey a unified
voice of many to address dental issues like tooth decay
and so on. The creation of this
auspicious day was initiated in Dubai in 2007.
‘World Oral Health Day celebrated on 20th March 2016 stresses on greater awareness about the importance of oral health. The theme for this year “It all starts here. Healthy mouth. Healthy body.” recognizes the interconnections of a healthy dental life to an overall healthy and fulfilling life.’
proposed date to commemorate World Oral Health Day was 12th
September, which was also the birthday of the FDI founder, Charles Godon. This
date was later changed as it clashed with another major event of the FDI namely
the Annual World Dental Congress (AWDC). It was finally decided that
March would be the month to commemorate World Oral Health Day
as it provided ample time for FDI workers to plan both the
WOHD is an
important day because many oral health problems can be avoided with various
health associations and government support. This day helps spread awareness and
encourages people throughout the world to take their dental health seriously.
Theme for World Oral Health Day 2016
Each year, the activities of the day are centered on a theme that
the FDI would like to promote and raise awareness. The theme for this year
recognizes the interconnections of a healthy dental life
an overall healthy and fulfilling life. They have undertaken the following
theme: "It all starts here. Healthy
mouth. Healthy body."
In the truest sense, good
oral health does lead to several other benefits that improve
one's quality of life. It enhances communication and improves pronunciation and
other nuances that are involved in speech. A
well-maintained mouth lets one relish the plethora of flavors in food. A bad
set of teeth is often off-putting; it destroys one's first impression and can
be a social life killer.
FDI describes WOHD as a day
filled with fun, celebrating all the wonderful aspects of a healthy dental
life. This day witnesses a joint co-operation of
various government and private organizations specialist groups, health
associations and the general public to achieve the goal of a healthier
World Oral Health Day and India
Research conducted in India
indicates that an alarming 49% of the population, comprising mostly of the
rural community, lack the basic needs to
maintain oral health, like access to tooth paste or
even a toothbrush. A meager 2% of the population visit a
dentist for oral issues and dental problems like gum disease
and tooth decay. It is in this light that Indian
Dental Association (IDA) conducts various activities to sensitize the
population about the importance of oral health.
One of the greatest
participations from India was seen when 176,000 children brushed their teeth
together and thereby set a world record. This record was broken by Nigeria in
2013 when 300,000 children brushed their teeth simultaneously.
Other activities in India include distributing oral healthcare kits,
essay competitions and conducting free dental health check-ups
and so on. The dental kits named WOHD Dentist Smile
Kits will contain posters, USB devices with social memes, a WOHD global
awareness video, information on the plaque attack game and a customization app to urge local dental clinics to get involved in WOHD Local
dentists can also add their contribution to the day by organizing independent
oral health mobile drives.
Other proposed activities involve a teaser involving toothbrushes
with the slogan "It's never too early or
too late to start looking after your oral health." #ItAllStartsHere #WOHD2016.
keeping with time and age of social media, the FDI plans to capture the world
of social media by releasing teasers revolving around dental awareness and are
promoting the hash tags #ItAllStartsHere.
Most events of WOHD are targeted at children, as the organizers
believe that they can be easily persuaded and could form the first generation
to take care of their oral health.
Audience for World Oral Health Day
The dental community invites everyone to be a part of the joyous
celebrations. The activities are aimed at inculcating
healthier oral habits in the general public. Thus, these celebrations are not
just restricted to dental professionals, but all are welcome. The purpose of
celebrating this day annually, is to increase access to dental care for
everyone and to see more smiling faces. Last year, the dental community
achieved an overwhelming outreach to about 27 million people. It is time to
wear our smiles proudly and attend the WOHD celebrations in our locality.