Smile Around the World

Access to adequate oral healthcare remains uneven throughout the world – an estimated 2.4 billion people have little to no access to oral health treatment and care. Many children, especially from low-and middle-income countries, suffer from untreated tooth decay – 486 million currently have dental caries in their primary teeth. The number of missed school days due to poor oral health is significantly higher for children from lower-income, minority and/or immigrant families.

An estimated 2.4 billion people have little to no access to oral health treatment and care.

A child-centered approach to oral health education

Smile Around the World was launched in 2014 to deliver oral health education and prevention programmes in resource-limited settings in partnership with member National Dental Associations. With support from FDI industry partners, Smile Around the World raises oral health awareness in rural and urban communities through engaging and participatory educational programmes in schools.

Children are actively involved in the project through their own creative work, participating in crafting oral health messages and increasing their own understanding of oral health. A teacher‐training component helps to ensure the project’s long‐term sustainability.

Project goals

Deliver oral health education and prevention programmes in resource-limited settings

Raise oral health awareness in rural and urban communities through educational programmes in schools

Involve children directly in the programme through their own creative work

Smile Around the World has seven targeted messages for children to encourage good oral health habits

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day.
  2. Use a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and clean water.
  3. Eat your meal and don’t snack.
  4. Visit your dentist.
  5. Don’t suck your thumb.
  6. Mind your teeth.
  7. Keep away from tobacco and alcohol.

The Smile Around the World project is supported by 3M.

Resources

Project Reports

2018 Implementation in China

In 2018, Smile Around the World was implemented in China by collaborating with the Chinese Stomatological Association (CSA) and in partnership with 3M Oral Care. The objectives of this implementation is to increase oral health knowledge and skills among schoolchildren and to improve teaching of oral disease prevention among school teachers and oral health professionals. The programme involved 3,614 children and 90 teachers in five elementary schools and one kindergarten in the provinces of Ningxia, Yunnan and Shaanxi: 1,114 children in Ningxia, 1,500 children in Yunnan, and 1,000 children in Shaanxi.

Smile Around the World in China overview video

China launch video

Smile Around the World animation (in Chinese)

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