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World Oral Health Day: Why Do We Celebrate It? Know Its Date, History & Significance

World Oral Health Day aims to encourage people to maintain proper dental hygiene as unhealthy mouth can impact general health as well.

| Written By
Mahima Joshi
World oral health day

Image: Unsplash/Representative

In efforts to emphasise on the importance of excellent oral health, World Oral Health Day is celebrated every year on March 20. The motive behind celebrating the day is to raise awareness and knowledge concerning oral illnesses. This year, the theme of World Oral Health Day is “Be Proud of Your Mouth”.

The day aims to encourage people to maintain proper dental hygiene. Dental awareness can lead to the preservation of a healthier mouth, gums, and teeth adding to the enhancement of a person’s physical attractiveness. Notably, poor dental health can contribute to a lot of serious health issues, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, strokes, and respiratory difficulties.

History of World Oral Health Day 

World Oral Health Day was celebrated for the first time in the year 2007 on September 12 to mark the birthday of FDI founder Dr. Charles Godon. The date was however changed in 2013 to avoid conflict with the FDI World Dental Congress, which was in September.

Interestingly, the date 20 was chosen keeping in my various facts, including: 

  • Seniors who will have 20 natural teeth at the end of their life will be considered healthy.

  • Children should possess 20 baby teeth.

  • Adults who are healthy should have a total of 32 teeth and no dental cavities (On a numerical basis, the above-mentioned number can be translated as 3/20).

Significance of World Oral Health Day 

The main reason behind celebrating World Oral Health Day is to create awareness, through education and knowledge to several people who face or suffer from oral diseases. The day is observed to make people understand that these conditions can be avoided by taking care of oral hygiene. 

The day motivates people to look after their mouth and their quality of life. It is believed that unhealthy mouths impact general health and also have a severe impact on people's emotional, social, mental, and overall physical well-being.

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