World Oral Health Day 2022: Be Proud of Your Mouth
World Oral Health Day 2022: Be Proud of Your Mouth
Every year, 20 March is World Oral Health Day.
Even if you’re crazy about digital smile design, you probably didn’t know that.
It’s been happening since 2007 – although it used to be on 12 September, birthdate of its founder Dr Charles Godon. Originally celebrated then, March 20th was chosen in 2013 to circumvent conflicting dates with the ADA FDI World Dental Congress.
With about 200 International Days worldwide, you can be excused for not knowing about World Oral Health Day – WOHD isn’t much of an acronym. Just for the pub trivia quiz, 4 December is International Bank Day, and you’d have to wonder why. It would seem that for a day to be deemed worthy of for universally recognised, there would be some honourable reason for that. Maybe it’s to celebrate worldwide domination. Or a bazillion foreclosures and a steal deal on N.V Armand de Brignac, Brut Champagne (Gold). International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists might we worth a scribble on the calendar for 2 November, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October) and World Migratory Bird Day (9 October) are all worth some contemplation; and it seems odd that World Literacy Day would be immediately followed on 9 September by the strangely named International Day to Protect Education from Attack.
Maybe that can only be said from a country that never has bombs dropping on it. Otherwise it’s a D+ for precision in language.
The FDI World Dental Congress annual, with a different host country each year, brings together leaders in dental practice, research, academia and industry from across the world. It is a flagship event for FDI to strengthen and foster collaboration within the global oral health community.
To advance the science and practice of dentistry, the 5-day conference covers the most relevant and cutting-edge topics in dentistry.
Although World Oral Health Day has existed for just on 25 years, with the determination of Dr Charles Godon, the FDI (Fédeération Dentaire Internationale; then known as the Annual International Dental Congress) was established in the late 1800s. By then it was already felt that the scientific advances in dentistry needed disseminating and discoveries in clinical knowledge shared. At the time, most dentists were very poorly trained. US training was considered superior, and even then knowledge was only sporadically shared, and dentists had the curiosity and desire to learn more from key figures.
And while women’s participation in anything, let alone a dental congress was uncommon at the time, one of the 1893 objectives of the congress was to institute professional equality for female dentists. This was only one of several thought-provoking inclusions that year; the use of cocaine injections for local anaesthesia was also presented. Total participants exceeded a thousand people.
No plane flights, AirBNB or Uber back then.
The third congress, held in Paris called for uniformity in the teaching of dentistry, given the charlatanism within the profession, and urged the public be properly informed about dental care and oral hygiene.
Its intention, from the very beginning, has been to continually improve dental outcomes worldwide, via the research and reinforcement of health standards and revolutionary dental advancement.
World Oral Health Day is an element of that resolve to relieve the burden of oral diseases, which affect lives, systems and economies everywhere.
The reason for the major health alert is that in many countries people live with the pain, discomfort, social isolation and loss of self throughout their entire life because of compromised oral health. Countless will have had dental and gum issues since the eruption of their milk teeth.
To realise there is such little reason for such suffering is the agoniser: most oral health conditions are largely preventable with early stage, cost effective and easily administered treatment.
Each 20 March brings focus to this fact, its dilemma and the solutions still being found. In 2022 Be Proud of Your Mouth – and be loud and grateful that you have the opportunity to access world-class dental care. And maybe book a date with your dentist. Make it like Valentine’s Day for your mouth.
Take some kind of action, whatever it is. Because good oral health has a positive impact on every aspect of your life.
For that, it’s worth taking action. And if not for you, then research charities that honourably support worldwide oral health. That’s gotta put a smile on your face.
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