Will You Be Doing the Brush and Boogie This World Oral Health Day?

Find out why World Oral Health Day (WOHD) on March 20th is so important, get great free resources for your organisation, and discover prizes to win. 

It’s an initiative from the FDI World Dental Federation – the body that brings together the world of dentistry with the aim of achieving optimal oral health for everyone. 

The aim is to reduce the burden of oral diseases, which affect millions around the world. These diseases don’t simply cause pain and discomfort, but they are also linked to many other serious conditions and cause loss of self-confidence and sometimes isolation. The tragedy is that most oral health conditions are preventable and are easily treated if caught early. 

The UK has some of the most hardworking and skilled dentists in the world, but currently the system they work in is not functioning well, and there are ‘dental deserts’ where people simply cannot access dental services. This is causing big problems for patients. The statistics have been widely reported in the media, but these are not the fault of dentists and dental staff – rather, the recent pandemic, and the system of dental contracts, is at the root of the issues.

Raising awareness of these stats can help patients and families understand why they should be prioritising their oral health, especially where children are concerned:

  • The number one reason for young children aged between 6 and 10 to require NHS hospital admission and treatment is for tooth decay
  • The BBC reported recently that 91% of dental practices in England were not able to take on new adult NHS patients, and 79% couldn’t take on any new child patients
  • Since lockdown, almost 50 million NHS dental appointments have been lost in England
  • The NHS has repeatedly failed to spend its full budget on dentistry each year even though there is huge unmet need, with dentists moving to private practice or abroad. 

Ways You can Raise Awareness in Your Organisation

With these negative stats, it’s easy to forget the great things that dental services bring to society - so let’s use WOHD to highlight them. Remember the date! (Interestingly, the date was chosen because healthy adults should have a total of 32 teeth and 0 dental cavities – and this can be written numerically as 3/20, hence March 20th!)

The website of World Oral Health Day has some great resources like fun posters for kids featuring Toothie the Beaver (#Toothiebeaver) which can encourage children to have fun with brushing their teeth, for example by doing the Brush and Boogie (#brushandboogie). All content is free to use by everyone as long as it's used in its original form (no modifications allowed) and doesn't promote a product or a business (i.e. a dental practice).

In It to Win It

Why not participate in the WOHD Awards? You can put your activities on the Map of Activities and enter your details, with winners selected in June 2024 and an awards ceremony held in September. The categories include Most educational activity, Most engaging community campaign, Best Campaign by a Dental Students' Association, and Best media campaign.

The dental sector is busier and more stretched than ever. FPM is here to provide systems, training and other resources to help your organisation:

  • Compliance: Be inspection-ready at your practice, with the only solution you’ll need for dental compliance. FPM Core keeps all your policies and procedures in one place, easily distributable with read-reports and automated reminders. Become truly sustainable and paper free today!
  • Recruitment: First Practice Management offers a first-class recruitment service to dental practices, so they can appoint the best candidates for their key management roles. Our recruitment consultants are experts in their fields, and are based throughout the UK.
  • Training: Through our respected Thornfields Training business, we provide training, qualification and workforce development for your support team as well as management consultancy for your dental business.
Created by Jonathan Finch
Jonathan Finch
Jonathan is the Web Content Editor at FPM Group. He writes about issues affecting the UK health and care sectors, and maintains resources and services that make healthcare professionals' lives easier.


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