Each year, World Oral Health Day is celebrated around the world on March 20. It was created to spread the word about the importance of keeping your mouth healthy all year long.
This event is organized by the World Dental Federation, and was launched in 2013 to raise awareness about maintaining good oral health, and how it’s directly related to your overall health and well-being.
How do they spread the message?
Organizers decided to achieve this goal by launching an international awareness campaign that’s promoted locally by national dental associations in more than 140 countries worldwide.
The program offers dentists around the world the chance to make a difference with a worldwide effort to reduce tooth decay and organize events under a single message. Every year, a new message is chosen.
“Live Mouth Smart.”
This year’s message is “Live Mouth Smart.” There are many different ways you can do this. The first thing you can do is to make sure you’re getting regular dental cleanings and check-ups. If you have kids, you should start having their teeth checked and cleaned from an early age. This helps them maintain the best oral health they can as they get older, and ensures they live not only a longer life– but also one free from pain.
It’s also important to understand the risk factors that lead to oral diseases. These include tobacco, harmful alcohol and unhealthy diets – especially those rich in sugar. Avoiding these risky behaviors can help you to protect your oral health and prevent other conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.
Finally, “Living Mouth Smart”, means understanding that good oral health is much more than just having a nice smile. Oral diseases can impact every aspect of your life – including your ability to perform basic functions. A worst case scenario is oral cancer, which can have deadly consequences.
Every year, to help the people of Jamaica, Dr. Randy and Burba Dental Partners partner with the Great Shape! Inc. 1000 Smiles Program—the world’s largest international humanitarian dental project.
Dr. Burba joins over 350 volunteers who partner with the 1000 Smiles project. Together, they’re able to help serve more than 15,000 Jamaicans. Volunteer dentists and hygienists provide fillings, cleanings, extractions, sealants, dentures and education in pop-up dental clinics and schools.
These campaigns were in the past, but their messages are just as important as ever. Previous campaign themes included:
2013: Healthy Teeth for a Healthy Life.
2014: Celebrating Healthy Smiles.
2015: Smile for Life!
2016: Healthy mouth. Health body.
If you’re interested in celebrating World Oral Health Day, we encourage you to organize efforts on March 20 or within the month of March. Be sure to tag the American Dental Association, or use the hashtag #WOHD17 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook posts.
You can also visit World Oral Health Day for more info.
Dr. Randall Burba is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited dentist, practicing in Salem, Massachusetts. He considers himself an artist–with teeth and beyond! He often paints, draws and has a passion for woodworking.