World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is celebrated globally every year on 20 March. It is organized by FDI World Dental Federation and is the largest global awareness campaign on oral health.
WOHD spreads messages about good oral hygiene practices to adults and children alike and demonstrates the importance of optimal oral health in maintaining general health and well-being.
Each year, WOHD focuses on a specific theme and reaches out to the public, oral health professionals, and policymakers, who all have a role to play in helping reduce the burden of oral disease.
World Oral Health Day was first declared in 2007 and was originally celebrated on 12 September - the birth date of FDI founder Dr Charles Godon. However, the campaign was not fully activated until 2013, after the date was changed to 20 March to avoid conflict with the FDI World Dental Congress taking place in September.
The new date was chosen to reflect that:
- Seniors must have a total of 20 natural teeth at the end of their life to be considered healthy
- Children should possess 20 baby teeth
- Healthy adults must have a total of 32 teeth and 0 dental cavities
- Expressed on a numerical basis this can be translated as 3/20 hence March 20
FDI leads World Oral Health Day and develops the campaign strategy and messaging, which are then rolled out through National Dental Associations, oral health professionals, dental students, health organizations with an interest in oral health, and members of the public. Previous campaign themes:
- 2013: Healthy Teeth for a Healthy Life
- 2014: Celebrating Healthy Smiles
- 2015: Smile for Life!
- 2016: Healthy mouth. Health body.
- 2017: Live Mouth Smart
- 2018: Say Ahh: Think Mouth Think Health
How to get involved
FDI relies on individual action worldwide to roll out World Oral Health Day in each country and create a truly global movement. We encourage you to use your local expertize to create awareness and roll-out WOHD in your community. Whatever you decide to do, however big or small, contributes to improving the oral health of populations globally.
Visit the Get Involved section for inspiration and ideas on how you can celebrate WOHD.
The World Oral Health Day Official Partners help make the campaign a global success by providing unrestricted grants in support of campaign resources and activities. We are pleased to have the valuable support of the following Global Partners and Supporters for World Oral Health Day for the 2019 campaign: