Spotlight on the FDI Smile Awards: One year on, where are they now?

02 May 2018 Caries

The 2017 FDI Smile Awards were given to Argentina for their oral health prevention programme in schools (in the ‘sustainability’ category) and Slovenia for their toothbrushing competition between schools (in the ‘innovation’ category). Fast forward almost a year since they were awarded at the last World Dental Congress, we feature the work from both National Dental Associations to inspire others to submit their projects.  

Reaching the most vulnerable communities

The sustainability award went to the Argentinian Dental Association (Confederación Odontológica de la República Argentina) for their National Prevention Programme, which aims to reduce oral diseases among vulnerable populations through educational and promotional tools. The project started in March 2017 and has already reached over 220,00 children and 10,000 teachers in 2,000 schools.

Smile Award in Argentina
Smile Award in Argentina
Smile Award in Argentina

The school health programme was developed with activities to promote oral health and prevent oral diseases in the most vulnerable populations in the country. Teachers and community leaders were trained on oral health issues and workshops were organized for children and parents. Daily toothbrushing was installed in schools and a healthy kiosk was implemented in many schools to encourage good oral habits in children.

"In 2018, we plan to continue prevention activities in schools and community centers in our country. It will be done the in same way, training teachers and community leaders on oral health issues to reach the greatest number of children at risk. We want to ensure that the population is healthier in the future and we’ll achieve this through preventive work that has a positive impact on the child, family and community."
Guillermo Rivero, President of the Argentinian Dental Association

More than 35 years in the making

The innovation award went to the Slovenian Dental Association (Stomatološka sekcija, Slovensko zdravniško društvo) for ‘Let's have clean teeth’. The project started in 1979 and is ongoing. It is currently being implemented in all primary schools and all institutions for children with special needs in Slovenia – reaching altogether more than 720 schools and around 150,000 children every year.

‘Let’s have clean teeth’ in Slovenia
National Prevention Programme in Argentina

For over 35 years, the Slovenian Dental Association has been teaching children about the importance of toothbrushing. Teachers drive the competition in their classes and children compete between schools. The competition was integrated into the Slovenian Dental Association’s oral health programme for children in 1986, and it was also one of the top seven programmes competing for the Johnson-Johnson prize in 1990. The Slovenian Dental Association won a Certificate of Recognition in 1997 and 2000 for this project.

"Since we received the FDI Smile Award in August 2017, we had a press conference in Slovenia and the media got more interested in our project. We than received the ‘Excellent Working Praxis’ award in February 2018, as a special honor for helping our youngest population with their oral hygiene. The Ministry of Health also contacted us and promised to get even more involved with our efforts, all thanks to FDI’s award. We are very grateful for your contribution to make our project well known."
Matej Leskosek, Team Leader of ‘Let’s have clean teeth’

Three years into a successful partnership

The FDI Smile Awards are part of the Caries Prevention Partnership (CPP) and serve to promote preventive oral care at local level. The award valued at US$5,000 recognizes member National Dental Associations that are making a difference in oral health through innovative and sustainable community outreach projects in their country. Applications close in November every year.

Also under the umbrella of CPP, in 2016 FDI released a White Paper and Advocacy Toolkit on Dental Caries Prevention and Management to address key issues in controlling the disease and in 2017 a Caries Prevention and Management Chairside Guide to advise clinicians on restorative interventions with their patients.

The white paper is meant to inform and educate, the advocacy toolkit advises on policy implementation, and the chairside guide is conceived as a visual support at the dental practice to reduce the impact of caries as early as possible.

Win a trip to the next World Dental Congress

FDI recently sent out a survey evaluating the Caries Prevention and Management Chairside Guide. Participants will be eligible to win a trip to the World Dental Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 5 to 8 September 2018.


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