FDI unveils its ‘Live Mouth Smart’ 2017 World Oral Health Day campaign

09 September 2016 World Oral Health Day
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FDI unveiled its World Oral Health Day (WOHD) 2017 campaign, ‘Live Mouth Smart’, on 8 September during the FDI Annual World Dental Congress in Poznań. The campaign focuses on smart ways to maintain and protect oral health throughout life.

Live Mouth Smart’ builds on the 'Healthy Mouth. Healthy Body.' message of WOHD 2016, whose aim was to transform people’s perception of oral health from indifference to one they really care about. 

The 2017 campaign takes this concept forward in two ways: first, by emphasizing the mouth is essential for gestures people take for granted such as chewing, talking and smiling; and second, by highlighting oral health as a window to general health and freedom from preventable pain well into old-age.

Smart oral health decisions

Live Mouth Smart’ places emphasis on the smart decisions that people can take about oral health throughout life by preventive measures – good oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups - and by self-managing oral disease risk factors – smoking, alcohol, sugar, etc - which are identical to those for other noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

“We started with ‘It all starts here: health mouth healthy body’ - so the second step, when we assessed the situation is that you have to maintain what you reached,” said Dr Edoardo Cavallè, Chair of the FDI WOHD Task Team.

Reason and emotion

The ‘Live Smart Mouth’ messages are vehicled in short phrases that appeal both to reason and emotion, such as ‘Laugh through life’, ‘Chew through life’, and ‘Be healthy through life’.

These are supported by images and infographics to educate and inspire in people an emotional connection with their oral health. Message vectors, aside FDI, include member national dental associations – who will integrate the WOHD messaging into their national campaigns – and, increasingly, intense use of social media to build a worldwide movement for oral health.

The new WOHD website will serve as a campaign resource for downloading campaign components such as toolkit and visuals but also a focal point for advice on building a national or local campaign.

Target groups

WOHD targets the general public in low-, middle and high-income settings as well as oral health professionals, who play a key role in educating patients. But the messages are not just about changing behaviour: FDI is advocating real changes in oral health policy and also targets governments and members of the United Nations family of organizations.

“I think that in the future, all oral health care providers will use this forum and this day to develop oral hygiene messages for their patients and policy-makers," said Dr Cavallè.

The WOHD 2017 ‘Live Mouth Smart’ campaign echoes the statement by the World Health Organization* that:

‘Oral health is integral to the general health and well-being It is fundamental for the ability to breathe, eat, swallow, speak, or even smile. Impairment of functions related to oral health can seriously interfere with the ability to interact with others, attend school and work. In the African Region, poor oral causes millions of people to suffer from severe pain, increases out-of-pocket expenses for households and affect’s people’s quality of life and well-being.’

*Regional Oral Health Strategy (Africa): Addressing oral disease as part of noncommunicable diseases.