How Dental Offices Can Celebrate World Oral Health Day

FDI World Oral Health Day Theme: Be Proud of Your Mouth

Almost 3.5 billion people throughout the world are affected by poor oral health. Only when free of oral disease and pain can we use our mouths for efficient eating and speaking, confidently smiling, and conveying a range of emotions. An unhealthy mouth can have immediate and long-term effects on one's quality of life, including chronic pain and oral-systemic health conditions.

On March 20, 2022, World Oral Health Day will take place. The world oral health day campaign was organized and launched by the FDI World Dental Federation in 2013. It has been observed annually on March 20 since then. The World Oral Health Day 2022 campaign inspires, educates, and raises global awareness of oral health issues of all people. Doing their part and working together, oral health professionals, healthcare communities, and governments will reduce oral disease and ensure a healthy mouth and oral well-being for all.

The campaign's three-year-long theme is: Be Proud of Your Mouth. The focus is not about having the perfect mouth; it is about having a healthy one. Lack of self-care can severely affect a personal oral and overall health. This year, the campaign emphasizes that individuals become active participants and take care of their oral health for their general happiness and health.

Campaign six key messages:

  • Be Proud of Your Mouth for emotional well-beingGood oral health and emotional well-being are about having healthy self-esteem, which helps maintain a positive state of mind. Smiling often gives you confidence and improves the general feeling of wellness.
  • Be Proud of Your Mouth for mental well-beingBesides the absence of any mental disorders, mental well-being can be affected by oral health issues. Oral disease that increases the inability to cope with day-to-day activities, unproductivity, and not contributing to society has personal and financial repercussions. Pain or embarrassment from oral disease affects how we think, feel and act. The good news is if diagnosed early, most oral conditions are preventable or treatable.
  • Be Proud of Your Mouth for social well-beingOral disease can impact personal relationships and hinder how we interact socially. Good oral health can make social interactions easier by reducing the worry or anxiety associated with untreated dental disease.
  • Be Proud of Your Mouth for physical well-beingOur dental health impacts more than just our smile. Poor oral health is a risk factor for several health conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease 1,2. Systemic health issues can also be present orally.
  • Be Proud of Your Mouth should be possible for everyoneDisparities exist with access to and use of oral health care provisions. Public health programs and governmental interventions can help all people be orally disease-free.
  • Be Proud of Your Mouth by making the right decisions for your oral healthIndividuals must also have an active part in their oral health. Brushing for appropriate time with fluoride toothpaste, regular dental checkups, eating a balanced diet low in sugar, avoiding tobacco and limiting alcohol, wearing the proper equipment during sports are all activities and actions that individuals can do to protect their oral health.3


How Dental Offices Can Celebrate World Oral Health Day<

As dental professionals know, oral health plays an important role in overall health. World Oral Health Day is a great time for dental offices to take meaningful action to promote good oral health practices and help end the neglect of oral health. The FDI World Dental Federation has put together a toolkit (found here) with a lot of free resources that dental offices can use to promote the importance of good oral health practices in their communities on World Oral Health Day.

  • Social Media: One simple thing dental offices can do is post about World Oral Health Day on their social media channels. The FDI World Dental Federation has put together a great selection of social media images that highlight the campaign's key messages. Use the hashtags #WOHD22 and #MouthProudChallenge in your captions when you post to help your content get seen.
  • A Beginners Guild to Social Media Marketing for Dental Offices

  • Blog Post: If your dental practice has a website, you could write a blog post that highlights why oral health is so important and how it affects overall health. You can also use these images to update your website's header, footer, or side banners.
  • Email: Email marketing is a great low-cost tool dental offices can use to bring attention to World Oral Health Day. Share some facts about why oral health is so important and link the email back to your website or your social media.
  • Easy Email Marketing for Dental Offices: Steps for Success

  • In the Office: The FDI World Dental Federation has a bunch of free World Oral Health Day posters that your office can print off and display about the office. They also have World Oral Health Day activity kits available to print and use in your office. The frame activity would be a great way to get your younger patients involved in the day.
  • In the Community: World Oral Health Day isn’t just a great time to educate your patients about the importance of good oral health, it’s also a great time to educate your community. One great way to do that is to reach out and volunteer at your community center or local school. Teach proper brushing and flossing and bring along the ‘Be Proud of your Mouth’ activity sheets for kids and adults. You can even print off the free fact sheets to send home (don’t forget to attach your business card). Another great way to bring World Oral Health Day to your community is to volunteer for a free oral health clinic. If you don’t have one in your community, check out Gift from the Heart to see about getting one organized or to volunteer at one of their upcoming events.


To Sum It Up

So, on March 20, as dental professionals, let us do our part to become more aware of the global consequences of poor oral health. Let us encourage our patients to maintain their oral health by regular preventive and diagnostic care. Be mindful that oral health influences social, mental, emotional, social, and physical health. Promote all to ‘Be Proud of Your Mouth’!



Sources:

  1. Dhadse P, Gattani D, Mishra R. The link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease: How far we have come in last two decades?. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2010;14(3):148-154. doi:10.4103/0972-124X.75908
  2. Leite RS, Marlow NM, Fernandes JK, Hermayer K. Oral health and type 2 diabetes. Am J Med Sci. 2013;345(4):271-273. doi:10.1097/MAJ.0b013e31828bdedf
  3. World Oral Health Day. (n.d.). About World Oral Health Day. https://www.worldoralhealthday.org/