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Background on World Oral Health Day

Background on World Oral Health Day

The FDI World Dental Federation established World Oral Health Day following an
initiative of the FDI's World Dental Development & Health Promotion Committee.

The aim of such a commemorative day is to provide an occasion for global, regional and national activities related to oral health. Since in various countries, similar days or weeks already exist, the intention is not to replace the ongoing national activities, but rather to complement existing national days and to provide further occasions to create awareness for oral health. It is possible, depending on the international resonance to World Oral Health Day, that national activities align to the global date in the future. It is also possible as well to establish the day within the United Nations/WHO system of global commemorative days at a later stage.

A survey conducted among FDI members was undertaken to find out more about
current national and/or regional oral health days/weeks. The results of this survey were overwhelmingly supportive and positive. The response rate was more than 70% and the vast majority of respondents felt that such a global day would help in their advocacy work. Based on this information, the month of September was chosen as the most appropriate period of the year for a World Oral Health Day, since most national activities are already happening during this month. 12 September was chosen to coincide with existing oral health days around the world, to honour the birthday of FDI founder, Dr Charles Godon and to jointly celebrate the anniversary of the groundbreaking WHO’s International Conference on Primary Health Care at Alma Ata, which took place on 12 September 1978.

The very first international day related to oral health was celebrated in 1994, the International Year of Oral Health, when the World Health Organization's World Health Day was dedicated to oral health. The FDI is keen to establish the new World Oral Health Day on 12 September of each year in order to support the improvement of oral health worldwide.

In the future, the FDI will provide a theme and supportive material for member
associations and other interested parties in order to promote activitiesrelated to the day. The FDI website will provide additional information and list related World Oral Health Day events around the world and help in disseminating information on oral health and prevention.


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