FDI, CSA and 3M Oral Care launch Smile Around the World in China on World Oral Health Day

29 March 2018 Prevention

FDI and 3M Oral Care are teaming up to deliver oral health education and prevention programmes through the Smile Around the World (SAW) initiative. In partnership with the Chinese Stomatological Association (CSA), SAW aims to raise awareness of oral health in disadvantaged rural and urban communities through engaging cultural and educational activities.

Smile Around the World kicks off in China

Re-introducing Smile Around the World

SAW was first implemented in India in 2015 and Brazil in 2016, where it reached almost 5,000 and 3,000 children and teachers, respectively. In 2018, FDI is re-introducing SAW – this time in China – to increase oral health knowledge and skills among 3,000 schoolchildren, and to improve teaching of oral disease prevention among school teachers and oral health professionals.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission in China recently conducted an oral health survey and found that while children’s oral health awareness and behaviour has improved (compared to 10 years ago), challenges remain. Results from the survey show that only 24% of children aged five years said to brush their teeth twice a day, and only 32% of children aged 12 years admitted to brushing twice daily. As for the use of fluoride toothpaste, 42% and 55% reported this respectively.

SAW seeks to change these statistics by rolling out a series of oral health education programmes that will help children establish good oral hygiene habits at an early age and contribute to good oral health throughout the life-course. The educational materials encourage children to follow seven steps for healthy teeth: brush your teeth twice a day; use a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and clean water; eat your meal and don’t snack; visit your dentist; don’t suck your thumb; mind your teeth; and keep away from tobacco and alcohol.

Why launch on World Oral Health Day?

The messages promoted by SAW are aligned with those encouraged by World Oral Health Day (WOHD). Celebrated on 20 March every year, WOHD is the largest global awareness campaign on oral health. It spreads messages about good oral hygiene practices to adults and children alike and demonstrates the importance of optimal oral health in maintaining general health and well-being.

The SAW launch ceremony was held in Kunming, Yunnan. It was attended by key figures from the Chinese Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the Yunnan Department of Education, the Yunnan Health and Family Planning Commission, the Chinese Stomatological Association, 3M representatives, and FDI.

"Tooth decay has become the most common health issue for children worldwide. Globally, about 60-90% of schoolchildren and nearly 100% of adults have tooth decay. But the truth is that early prevention can dramatically lower the risk of oral diseases and minimize their impact on general health. That’s also why we launched SAW. We hope that by delivering oral health education, we can work closely with children to teach them good oral hygiene and oral health awareness and prevent oral diseases."
Dr Gerhard Seeberger, FDI President-elect 

Dr Seeberger visits schools in China

"We are very honored that 3M can work with FDI and CSA to bring SAW to China in 2018 and to draw public attention to oral health, especially to oral health protection for children. As science applied to life is 3M’s commitment, we hope that we can protect children’s beautiful smiles through advanced preventive oral care concepts and products."
Vincent Shen, General Manager of 3M Healthcare Business Group of mainland China and Hong Kong 

"I am very happy to see SAW launch in China this year. I believe that through multi-stakeholder collaboration and by fully leveraging each stakeholder’s experience and influence, we can help protect more Chinese children’s oral health and actively contribute to the building of a healthy China."
Prof. Yu Guangyan, President of the Chinese Stomatological Association 

About 3M Oral Care

3M Oral Care is dedicated to promoting lifelong oral health. Since the first dental filling was invented in 1947, 3M has remained committed to innovating and developing dental products. Its over 2,000 products are divided into 13 major categories including direct and indirect repair, orthodontics and preventive oral care. Through its wide variety of innovative products and solutions, 3M is helping patients improve dental aesthetics and oral care professionals improve techniques, and helping the entire oral care industry improve treatment efficiency and technical standard.