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The 20th of March is World Oral Health Day (WOHD). This international event organised by the World Dental Federation (FDI) is celebrated every year to help promote the benefits of a healthy mouth and raise awareness of the issues around oral health throughout the world. From babies to elderly people, oral health and hygiene is extremely important for everyone.

As World Oral Health Day is a celebration, it’s a day for people to have fun and partake in a day full of activities that make us smile, laugh, sing and enjoy our health. By taking part in WOHD, we can draw attention to why raising awareness to the importance of oral health and how we can take action to help reduce the burden of diseases related to poor oral hygiene. At some point in their lifetime, around 90% of the world’s population will suffer from some kind of oral disease. However, with increased support from governments, health associations and society in general, many of these problems can be avoided.

The idea of WOHD 2016 is to help drive a movement for change, getting people to recognise the impact that oral health has on our overall health and wellbeing. The flexible platform created by this day of celebrations provides the opportunity for people in the dental and oral health community to discuss a wide variety of important topics under a single core message, the importance of looking after our oral health.

Who can take part in World Oral Health Day 2016?

Everyone can get involved with the WOHD initiative. Whether you are a health association, a government group, a teacher or a student, you can join in to spread the world of the importance of oral health. World Oral Health Day 2016 is about everyone taking time out of their day to promote oral health within their own community, with the idea of the message reaching as many people as possible.

How can I keep my teeth and gums healthy?

It’s easy to get used to simple routines to make sure our teeth and gums stay healthy:

  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time a day, using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Be sure to clean between the teeth with interdental brushes or floss every day at least once
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet, avoiding too many sugary foods or drinks
  • Attend regular dental check-ups

If you suffer from tooth alignment problems that make cleaning in between your teeth difficult, you can visit an orthodontist to learn about the range of teeth straightening treatments available for you. There is more to it than meets the eye when it comes to orthodontic treatment - as well as contributing to improved self-esteem and confidence, straighter teeth can also make the teeth easier to clean, helping to prevent gum disease.

WOHD 2015 was a huge success; reaching an audience of more than 27 million people, with 112 countries participating and by joining together to promote oral health, we can make this year’s event even bigger.

For more information about World Oral Health Day 2016 which takes place on the 20th of March.