- Austria / Österreich
- Bosnia and Herzegovina / Босна и Херцеговина
- Bulgaria / България
- Croatia / Hrvatska
- Czech Republic & Slovakia / Česká republika & Slovensko
- Finland / Suomi
- France / France
- Germany / Deutschland
- Greece / ΕΛΛΑΔΑ
- Italy / Italia
- Netherlands / Nederland
- Nordic / Nordic
- Poland / Polska
- Portugal / Portugal
- Romania & Moldova / România & Moldova
- Slovenia / Slovenija
- Serbia & Montenegro / Србија и Црна Гора
- Spain / España
- Switzerland / Schweiz
- Turkey / Türkiye
- UK & Ireland / UK & Ireland
Celebrated every year on 20 March, World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is the largest global awareness campaign on oral health. The WOHD task team oversees the development and implementation of the campaign strategy. Dr Anna Lella from Poland is the task team’s chair, and she talks about the initiative’s significance and strategic plans for the upcoming years in this interview.
What is the main mission of WOHD, and why does it matter on a global scale?
WOHD is an initiative of the global community of dental practitioners who want to assist their patients not only by providing them with individual treatment, but also by raising social awareness of the importance of maintaining good oral health. It is a worldwide celebration held with a significant mission: to empower people with the knowledge and tools to prevent and control oral diseases. These diseases have a significant impact on people’s lives and are a major health concern in many countries, affecting nearly 3.5 billion people worldwide. They cause pain, discomfort, social isolation and loss of self-confidence and are often connected to other serious health problems. However, the good news is that most oral health conditions are largely preventable and treatable when addressed early on. This is why we as dentists put so much emphasis on prevention.
WOHD encourages individuals to prioritise their oral health through a good oral hygiene routine and by managing risk factors. By preserving oral health, not only do we do good to our mouths, but also we contribute to our overall health and well-being.
Could you tell us more about the campaign’s global impact?
Since its launch in 2007, WOHD’s reach and impact have significantly grown, thanks to the invaluable engagement of FDI, the national dental organisations and individual dentists worldwide. Three years ago, FDI kick-started the Be Proud of Your Mouth campaign, motivating people to value and care for their oral health. This powerful call to action encouraged individuals to place an ornate art frame over their mouths using the different #MouthProud tools available online and on social media, symbolising their commitment to prioritising oral health.
“Our mission remains clear: to take meaningful action towards ending the neglect of global oral health.”
Through this campaign, we hoped to motivate people to value and take care of their mouths and understand that, by doing so, they can also help protect and improve their general health and well-being. The response was incredible! Thousands of people worldwide got involved through events organised by dental associations, specialist groups and the wider healthcare community. More than 26,000 proud mouths were shared across various online platforms, 223 countries and terretories got involved and the average media reach was four billion. Thanks to this tremendous engagement, we made a significant impact and were able to successfully wrap up the Be Proud of Your Mouth campaign.
What are the plans for the future of WOHD?
The campaign’s growth has been truly remarkable. As we move forward, our challenge is to capitalise on this momentum and create a lasting impact over the next three years. Our mission remains clear: to take meaningful action towards ending the neglect of global oral health. To achieve this, FDI has developed a new strategic approach for WOHD 2024‒2026. This approach aims to increase engagement across various stakeholder groups and inspire as many people as possible to prioritise their oral health. We have taken into account valuable campaign insights, advancements in the digital and global health domains, and feedback from FDI members, campaign organisers and partners.
Stay tuned for exciting developments! The campaign strategy will be unveiled during the WOHD launch on 24 September at the WDC in Sydney.
How can individuals actively participate in WOHD and support its objectives?
FDI relies on individual action worldwide to roll out WOHD in each country and to create a truly global movement. We encourage you to use your local expertise to create awareness and roll out the campaign in your community. Whatever you decide to do—however big or small—contributes to improving the oral health of populations globally.
You can get involved in a way that best suits you! Visit our main website for inspiration and tailor-made ideas to celebrate. Everyone’s actions will help to keep us moving towards our collective goal: better oral health for all. Download our campaign materials to support your WOHD activities and events. All resources are free to download and use, and most are available in English, French and Spanish. Of course, you can also arrange translation of selected materials into your national or local languages. We have a wide range on offer.
Stay tuned as we develop new resources for the next three-year campaign. The first ones will become available in October. New resources will be added throughout the campaign, so check back regularly to access all the materials and celebrate WOHD with us.
Wed. 6 December 2023
3:00 am EST (New York)