World Oral Health Day (#WOHD21) is a global movement celebrated on March 20 each year with the goal of empowering people with the knowledge, tools and confidence to secure good oral health. Organized by the FDI World Dental Federation, World Oral Health Day has grown larger each year since its inception in 2007. The current theme, “Be Proud Of Your Mouth,” makes clear the importance of putting value on oral health.
Patterson Dental is committed to providing resources – both financial support and employee time and talents – to organizations that increase access to oral health care and enhance the quality of life of those in the communities we serve. We hope you’ll join us in helping to reduce the burden of oral diseases in our local communities and around the globe through participation in World Oral Health Day.
As an oral health professional, you take pride in the work you do every day to help your patients live a life of good oral hygiene. Celebrating World Oral Health Day is a great opportunity to go beyond the walls of your dental office by raising awareness within your community. Below are five ways to educate both your patients and your community on the importance of good oral health.
1. Share about World Oral Health Day on social media. One of the easiest ways to participate in World Oral Health Day is to share oral health tips to your social media pages with the hashtags #WOHD21 and #WorldOralHealthDay. Visit worldoralhealthday.org for a library of ready-to-share social media posts to get you started.
2. Hand out COVID-19 oral health fact sheets. The COVID-19 pandemic has shed new light on the importance of good at-home oral hygiene. The FDI World Oral Health Federation has created a three-page fact sheet on how to protect our oral health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the WOHD resource center for posters and other content to share with your patients and community.
3. Volunteer your time. Visit a local elementary school or youth organization to share the importance of good oral health (virtually, if needed). Teach kids how to brush their teeth, how to floss and the impact their diet can have in promoting a healthy mouth. One in five children aged five to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. The impact you can have on children as an oral health professional visiting their school cannot be understated. Consider bringing oral hygiene kits to hand out after your visit (here are two options: kids 3+ years old and kids 6+ years old). Kids love getting gifts!
4. Donate dental supplies to a local non-profit. Create dental kits and deliver them to local homeless shelters or youth organizations. Many people experiencing homelessness—adolescents included—do not have access to toothpaste or even their own toothbrush. Any oral hygiene donations would be greatly appreciated. Here are some Patterson Brand Oral Hygiene Items to help you build dental kits.
5. Collaborate with other health care providers. Reach out to the primary care providers of your patients on ways to get out the message of the importance of good oral care. Like steps No. 2 and No. 4 above, consider sending oral health brochures or dental kits to local health care clinics. This will further show you care about the overall health of your patients and your community while also helping to build a better relationship to the primary care providers who often refer out dental work.
These are only a few ways to get involved and celebrate World Oral Health Day. As an oral health professional, you likely speak to the importance of good oral health every day, but by participating in a global event at a local level, you can have an impact beyond the patients you see every day.
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