In China, Smile Around the World reports successful oral health education workshops

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FDI President Dr Kathryn Kell meets with Smile Around the World school students in Shaanxi province in China. (Photograph: Hiromu Shimada)
FDI World Dental Federation

By FDI World Dental Federation

Sat. 8. September 2018

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WEINAN, China: Smile Around the World reached its full potential in China in summer 2018 thanks to a collaborative effort between FDI, the Chinese Stomatological Association and 3M Oral Care. The initiative was first implemented in India in 2015 and Brazil in 2016, reaching a combined total of close to 8,000 children and teachers. Smile Around the World is an FDI-led initiative that aims to raise awareness about oral health in disadvantaged, rural and urban communities through engaging oral health education workshops for children around the globe.

“We are thrilled with the success of our most recent initiative in China. We were able to raise oral health awareness among 3,614 children in western China, where there is a demonstrated need to improve oral health. We’ve worked closely with 115 volunteer dentists and dental students and 90 volunteer schoolteachers,” said FDI President Dr Kathryn Kell.

Smile Around the World encourages children to play an active role in their oral health. The oral health education activities help children establish good oral hygiene habits at a young age. The curriculum is based on seven steps to ensure a healthy mouth and smile:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day.
  2. Use a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste and clean water.
  3. Eat only your main meals and do not snack in between.
  4. Visit your dentist regularly.
  5. Do not suck your thumb.
  6. Look after your teeth.
  7. Stay away from tobacco and alcohol.

“I’m very excited about the leading role that children played in this initiative. Children were actively involved in Smile Around the World through their own creative work, participating in crafting oral health messages to increase their own understanding of oral health,” Kell added.

Disparities in access to oral healthcare remain throughout the world, with many children suffering from untreated dental caries. Through its activities, Smile Around the World strives to create a lasting impression of the importance of good oral health. To encourage the sustainability of the programme after its official conclusion, schoolteachers and oral health professionals are trained to teach effective oral disease prevention strategies to their students and patients. Smile Around the World intends to expand its activities into other regions later this year.

China FDI President FDI World Dental Congress FDI World Dental Federation Kathryn Kell Smile Around The World

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