Oral health and a healthy body go hand in hand. This is the main message of the 2018 World Oral Health Day (WOHD) that is being celebrated globally on March 20. This year’s theme—Think Mouth, Think Health—aims to raise awareness about the close relationship between oral health and general health and the impact that one has on the other, in order to teach more people how to protect both their mouth and their body at all ages.
World Oral Health Day is organized by the FDI World Dental Federation and is the largest global awareness campaign for oral health. Every year the WOHD focuses on a specific theme and reaches out to the public, oral health professionals and policymakers, who all have a role to play in helping reduce oral disease.
Oral health is much more than a nice smile
This year’s campaign talks about how a look into your mouth can reveal nutritional deficiencies, signs of other diseases, and unhealthy habits like tobacco or alcohol use-reflecting your general health and well-being. Think Mouth, Think Health is the first sub-theme and the starting point of a three-year campaign called Say ahh that begins in 2018. The purpose is to empower people around the world to keep a healthy mouth. By doing that you can maintain not only a nice smile but also overall health and quality of life.
World Oral Health Day–campaign messages and facts
Oral diseases share common risk factors with general health conditions. These risk factors are triggered by individual behavior and lifestyle, such as an unhealthy diet (particularly one high in sugar), tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, and poor oral hygiene. It is therefore important to recognize that all people can prevent oral diseases, as well as other health conditions, by taking charge of their own oral health.
You can participate too
Based on the World Health Organization fact that 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral disease in their lifetime, the WOHD initiative is of great importance and makes a difference. The WOHD would not be the success it is without commitment and dedication from around the world. The campaign relies on actions to engage others locally to raise awareness about the prevention and control of oral diseases.
There are many ways to become involved in the WOHD, so let’s get started and see how you can help.
- Promote the WOHD by adding www.worldoralhealthday.org to your dental practice website
- Organize an ‘open day’ at your dental practice and invite people for free dental check-ups
- Submit your event to the global WOHD map for visibility
- Print the WOHD ‘at the dentist’ poster and hang it at your dental practice
- Print copies of the WOHD brochure on ‘understanding the mouth and body connection’ and distribute it at your dental practice
- Use the two campaign hashtags in your promotion and join the global conversation #SayAhh #WOHD18
Read more about the WOHD here.