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World Oral Health Day calls for pledges to show unity

Annual celebration began in 2007, moved to March in 2013

February 19, 2020

By David Burger

 Image of Unite for Mouth Health poster WOHD / FDI

 

Pledge to celebrate World Oral Health Day on March 20 with the rest of the sphere.

Organized by the FDI World Dental Federation, it is the largest global awareness campaign on oral health. The official theme of the 2020 campaign is Say Ahh: Unite for Mouth Health.

The observance spreads messages about good oral hygiene practices for adults and children and illustrates the importance of oral health in maintaining general health and well-being.

World Oral Health Day focuses on a specific theme each year and reaches out to the public, oral health professionals and policymakers who all have a role addressing the consequences of oral disease.

The campaign also calls for people to make online pledges or pledge signs to show their commitment to the cause.

"This year on World Oral Health Day, we’re using the transformative power of pledges to show that we’re all in this together,” Dr. Gerhard K. Seeberger, FDI president, told the ADA News. “Each and every pledge takes us one step closer to our goal of achieving optimal oral health around the globe. Pledge by pledge, we make a worldwide, collective commitment to establish oral health as an essential health priority.”

World Oral Health Day was first declared in 2007 and originally celebrated on Sept. 12, the birthday of FDI founder Dr. Charles Godon. However, the campaign was not fully activated until 2013, when the date was changed to March 20 to avoid conflict with the FDI World Dental Congress, which traditionally takes place in the late summer.

Resources and tips on how to celebrate World Oral Health Day, including guidance on how to make pledges, is available at worldoralhealthday.org/resources.

FDI World Dental Federation is the largest membership-based dental organization in the world. It is the principal representative body for over 1 million dentists worldwide. FDI's membership comprises approximately 200 national member dental associations, including the ADA, and specialist groups in some 130 countries. It was founded in Paris in 1900 under the name Fédération Dentaire Internationale (hence FDI).