World Oral Health Day (WOHD is celebrated every day on 20th March and is organized by FDI World Dental Federation (FDI). It is one of the largest global awareness campaigns based on oral health. The World Oral Health Day works towards spreading the message about the importance of good oral hygiene practices in adults and children and the role of oral health in general well-being.
An annual campaign is initiated so that the government, health organizations, and the general public work together to attain healthier and happier mouths.
This international day for oral hygiene was first declared in 2007 and celebrated on 12th September, marking the birth of the FDI founder Dr. Charles Godon. But it wasn’t until 2013 that the campaign was fully launched and the date was shifted to 20th March. The date was changed to avoid conflicts with the FDI World Dental Congress which also takes place in September. World Oral Health Day is celebrated in over 130 countries presently with participation by national dental associations from around the world.
These campaigns have a specific theme on ways to reduce the burden of oral diseases through oral hygiene practices. The theme for 2020 World Oral Health Day is ‘Unite for Mouth Health’ which is encouraging the public to take a pledge towards paying more attention to your oral condition and visiting the dentist from time to time.
Significance of the number 20
The shift from 12th September to 20th March was to avoid the clash with the Congress. However, there is more to why the date 20th was chosen specifically.
- Adults need to have a total of 20 teeth at the time of their death to be considered healthy.
- Kids should have 20 baby teeth.
- Adults with good oral health should have 32 teeth and 0 dental cavities.
- When expressed in numerical terms this can be written as 3/20 which becomes 20th March.
How you can help
Even though the campaign is global, FDI relies on individual actions to create an impact in countries and contribute towards awareness. They encourage local experts to gather the community and share their knowledge and create a wave of change for oral health. You can focus on the important steps that need to be followed in every household such a brushing twice a day, controlling or avoiding a lot of sugary sweets, avoiding the use of toothpaste with high fluoride content, and using expert recommended toothpaste in case of sensitivity. The 3M Clinpro Tooth Crème is a highly recommended strength toothpaste, used by dental experts across the globe.
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