by Dr Sumaiya Hasan
2020 certainly taught us that health is prosperity and the greatest blessing. Health demands persistent efforts for the maintenance and is not a one-day job. However certain significant dates throughout the year are designated for various dimensions of a healthy mouth. One such example is the World Oral Health Day which is observed every year on 20 March.
Healthy Mouth & World Oral Health Day: Reflecting Back Over the Years
The World Oral Health Day, first declared in 2007 and fully activated in 2013, unites the world to dedicate efforts to reduce the burden of oral diseases, and therefore shape the future of societies. Each year, a precise theme on this day, conveys a strong oral health-related message. For the past few years, the FDI World Dental Federation, through powerful themes, has been motivating people to attend their dental hygiene. Few such themes include ‘Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body.’ ‘Think Mouth, Think Health”, ‘Act on Mouth Health’ etc. Last year when the public observed this day and the world united against the surge of COVID-19, FDI urged the public to unite for oral hygiene. FDI announced the theme will be ‘Say Ahh: Unite for Mouth Health.‘
2021 – Be Proud of Your Mouth
This year’s theme ‘Be proud of Your Mouth‘ is yet another card to swiftly transform the attitude of the general public towards oral health. The message targets multiple oral health-related goals in the following ways.
- In order to be proud of your mouth, you have to strive for its improvement. Therefore, the thoughtful slogan of WOHD 2021 is indirectly motivating people to nurture their dental health. This will not only allow them to maintain their oral hygiene but also get their dental problems treated.
- “Be Proud of Your Mouth” inclines individuals towards the idea of owning their dental health. Owning their oral health will not just motivate them to work for its betterment but also consider it as an integral part of their systemic health, something which the dental associations have been unanimously working for many years.
Need of Time
Regardless of date and time, dental professionals around the globe have been working remarkably well for the oral healthcare of the public. Nevertheless, World Oral Health Day can be considered as a golden opportunity to disseminate the message of oral hygiene and to work in spheres where there is room for improvement. Few examples of such spheres include,
- Focussing on preventive aspects and not just treatment.
- Focussing more on specific age groups such as children and aged people. Without a shadow of a doubt, every individual is equal in terms of dental treatment. But, certain characteristics of the aforementioned groups make them an important target population. This is due to the following reasons.
- Children are at a stage where they are developing habits including dental hygiene-related protocols. If the emphasis is on correcting and making them habitual of following correct dental hygiene protocols, changes can be seen. They may follow it for the rest of their lives and save themselves from the hassle of dental treatment.
- The elders are at a stage of life when ageing and other medical problems interplay to catastrophically impact the health. This impact may also be observed on dental health. The absence of effective dental treatment may allow nutritional deficiencies and further add up to their problems.
Working on strategies that may be helpful in providing basic oral hygiene necessities to certain populations.
-The author is contributing writer at Dental News Pakistan and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org