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World Oral Health Day 2023 – March 20

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World Oral Health DayWorld Oral Health Day(WOHD) is annually observed across the globe on March 20 to create awareness about the importance of oral health. The day is celebrated to encourage people to practise excellent oral hygiene, take care of their teeth, and educate them on how to avoid dental issues.

Purpose- WOHD aims to empower people with the knowledge, tools and confidence to secure good oral health.

World Oral Health Day 2023 is observed on 20th March 2023 under the theme  “2023: Be Proud of Your Mouth for a lifetime of smiles”.


i. World Oral Health Day is an initiative of the FDI World Dental Federation (FDI), an international organisation that unites the world of dentistry with the aim of achieving optimal oral health for everyone.

ii. WOHD was 1st declared in 2007 and was originally celebrated on 12 September, the birth anniversary of FDI founder Dr Charles Godon.

iii. The date was changed to March 20 in order to avoid a conflict with the FDI World Dental Congress, which was taking place in September, and the campaign was fully activated in 2013.

Why March 20?

The older people should have 20 natural teeth at the end of their lives, the children should have 20 baby teeth and the healthy adults should have a total of 32 and 0 dental cavities.

  • Expressed on a numerical basis, this can be mentioned as 3/20 which represents March 20.

World Oral Health Day- Campaign 2021-2023:

In 2021, The World Dental Federation (FDI – Fédération Dentaire Internationale) launched the 3-year campaign theme 2021- 2023 “Be Proud of Your Mouth” selected the theme for a three-year campaign that started in 2021.

i. The 1st year of the campaign was focused on highlighting the effects of oral health on overall health.

  • Theme of 2021: Be Proud of Your Mouth for your general health.

ii. The 2nd year underlined the importance of a healthy mouth for happiness and well-being.

  • Theme of 2022: Be Proud of Your Mouth for your happiness and well-being

iii. The 2023 WOHD (3rd year) emphasises the importance of ensuring oral health at every stage of life.

Key Points:

i. According to FDI reports, 2.3 billion people suffer from tooth decay (dental caries) which is the most common health condition globally

ii. It is estimated that nearly 3.5 billion people worldwide are affected by some kind of oral disease. Dental cavities and gum (periodontal) diseases are very common.

Dental Disease:

i. Dental disease, conditions including dental caries, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, and gingivitis, occurs when the oral cavity acquires various bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

ii. It is caused by poor brushing habits, hormonal changes, and family history or genetics.

iii. It can be prevented by taking action to maintain healthy teeth and gums by following proper oral hygiene habits (like flossing, brushing and limiting sugar intake).

National Oral Health Programme (NOHP) of India:

i. National Oral Health Programme(NOHP) was initiated by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare(MoHFW), Government of India, to provide integrated, comprehensive oral health care in the existing healthcare facilities.

ii. The objectives of NOHP are to improve the determinants of oral health, reduce morbidity from oral diseases, integrate oral health promotion and preventive services with the general health care system, and encourage the Promotion of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) model for achieving better oral health.

Dental Health in India:

i. According to the statistics of the MoHFW, 60% to 80% of children have dental issues, including misaligned jaws and gaps between teeth.

ii. More than 50% of Indians with dental health issues follow generic treatment or advice from untrusted sources other than dentists.

iii. Due to the fact that between 85% and 90% of adults have oral health issues, India is considered the world capital for oral cancer.

About the FDI World Dental Federation (FDI):

President– Ihsane Ben Yahya
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
Establishment- 1900