World Oral Health Day: 20 March

As of 2013, World Oral Health Day will be celebrated on 20 March. The original date, 12 September, was moved following a decision in Hong Kong and subsequent publication of a revised Policy Statement. A toolkit, containing a variety of promotional materials, including logo, and rules governing their use, will shortly be available online.

Countries around the world are using a variety of different dates for oral health days, weeks and months. FDI would like to see its national dental associations use 20 March as an opportunity to, in the words of the Policy Statement, “develop activities and initiatives aimed at increasing awareness for oral health as well as the impact of oral diseases on general health, well-being and economy.”

Dubai decision

The decision to create World Oral Health Day was taken at the FDI Annual World Dental Congress (AWDC) in Dubai in 2007. The date, 12 September, corresponded to the birthday of FDI founder Charles Godon and thus seemed a logical choice.

However, the September date also fell either during, or in the immediate aftermath of the AWDC. This left little time for FDI, engaged in the planning of the AWDC, or its national dental associations, to prepare what should be a major event in the world oral health calendar, on a par with the AWDC itself.

The month of March falls exactly half way between AWDCs and was therefore deemed suitable by FDI General Assembly delegates.