What is World Oral Health Day?
World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is a public health and awareness campaign commemorated every year on the 20th of March. It is for supporting the improvement of oral health all over the world. It provides an occasion for national, regional and global activities that promote oral health. It stemmed from the International Year of Oral Health where the World Health Organization dedicated World Health Day to oral health in 1994. This year, World Oral Health Day’s theme is “Smile for Life” which is a reminder for everyone regarding the importance of taking care of their teeth and gums.
The fact of the matter is that more than 90% of the population worldwide will suffer from some dental disease during their lifetime. However, most of these dental diseases can be prevented and treated easily through the intervention of a dental health professional and the practice of good oral care. During the public health and awareness campaign, the public is given information regarding how to practice good oral health.
Here are some simple tips for good oral health:
- Brush your teeth at least two times daily preferably after meals.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day and use a gentle sawing motion.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste to help harden enamel and reduce the risk of tooth decay.
- Limit the intake of acidic beverages like soft drinks and fruit juices since these can soften tooth material and lead to cavities or caries.
- Protect your teeth by using a mouth guard or helmet when playing contact sports.
- See your dentist regularly especially when you feel that something is wrong with your teeth.
- Do not use your teeth to crack nuts, remove the top of bottles or anything other than chewing food to prevent chipping or breaking them.
Purpose of World Oral Health Day
The main purpose of World Oral Health Day is to promote the awareness of the different issues about oral health and the importance of practicing good oral hygiene regardless of age. Again, more than 90% of the world’s population will suffer from some oral disease in their lifetime and the alarming fact is that only about 60% have access to oral health care.
It is also for informing the public that oral diseases are linked to serious chronic diseases including cancers, heart disease, diabetes and low birth weight in newborns. Tooth decay is the most common oral health problem and it is about 5 times more common than asthma making it a major problem today.
What You Can Do on World Oral Health Day
- Donate to the World Dental Federation to help them reach their goals for World Oral Health Day.
- Organize an event to commemorate World Oral Health Day.
- Distribute flyers on the importance of good oral hygiene and how to practice it.
- Use social media to spread oral healthcare awareness.
- Contact your local newspaper, television station or radio station so that they will make a public service announcement regarding the public health and awareness campaign.
- Write an article about practicing good oral health and get it published in your local paper.
- Organize a dental mission in rural areas offering free dental services.
- Organize an event in your local school showing children how to brush properly and practice good oral health.
- Display World Oral Health Day posters in public areas.
- Organize an educative and preventive lecture for children and teenagers regarding dental health.
- Giveaway toothbrush and other oral health paraphernalia in underprivileged areas or countries.
- Organize a dental mission in third world countries with little access to oral health care.
- Organize a community outreach activity working with local health agencies and private dental organizations.
- Organize a fundraising event for the World Dental Federation.
- Distribute World Oral Health Day posters to all dentists in your area.
- Start a social media campaign for raising oral healthcare awareness.
Message of World Oral Health Day
Oral health is very important because there is a close connection between dental diseases and chronic diseases like cancers, heart disease and diabetes. This is the perfect time to educate the public about the importance of practicing good oral health. A major problem is that most people are just plain ignorant when it comes to oral hygiene so it would be very helpful to impart useful tips on practicing good oral health. Everyone can contribute and help in reaching the goals of World Oral Health Day even through simple ways like the ones mentioned.
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