First Ever “World Oral Health Day”

ADA, FDI World Dental Organization Announce First “World Oral Health Day” to increase awareness of oral health, impact of oral diseases

CHICAGO, September 10, 2008 The American Dental Association (ADA) and the FDI World Dental Federation, the worldwide voice of the dental profession, are pleased to announce the first “World Oral Health Day” to be celebrated on Friday, September 12. The purpose of this day is to increase awareness for oral health, as well as the impact of oral diseases on general health and well-being.

Throughout the world, dental caries or tooth decay is the most common chronic disease, particularly affecting children and disadvantaged populations. Dental disease results in unnecessary pain and suffering, and missed work or school days. In the United States alone, employed adults lose more than 164 million hours of work annually because of dental disease or dental visits, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s oral health report.

Periodontal or gum diseases have been associated with diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes and other systemic ailments. Untreated tooth decay seriously affects a person’s quality of life.

“The American Dental Association is pleased to stand with the FDI and other national dental associations around the world to emphasize how crucial good oral health is to overall health,” stated Dr. Mark J. Feldman, ADA president. “We also want to help increase global awareness about proven preventive measures, including oral health education that can help reduce dental disease and suffering.”

“The FDI is delighted to celebrate the first-ever ‘World Oral Health Day’ with its 191 member associations around the world,” said Dr Burton Conrod, FDI President. “We hope that awareness for the importance of oral health can be elevated through the worldwide recognition of this day. The dentists of the world are committed to helping each and everyone in achieving optimal oral health through prevention and the highest possible standard of care.”

September 12 was chosen to coincide with existing oral health days around the world, to honor the FDI founder, Dr Charles Godon, who was born on September 12, 1854, and to jointly celebrate the anniversary of the groundbreaking World Health Organization’s International Conference on Primary Health Care at Alma Ata, Kazakhstan , taking place on September 12, 1978.

More information about “World Oral Health Day” is available on the FDI’s Web site at