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Whakapau kaha – to be better than before.

On 20 March every year, FDI World Dental Federation asks the world to unite to help reduce the burden of oral diseases by empowering people with knowledge, tools, and confidence to secure good oral health. This year FDI are celebrating World Oral Health Day with the tagline Be Proud of Your Mouth.

The New Zealand Dental Association are celebrating World Oral Health Day (WOHD) by holding an online competition to raise awareness of WOHD in New Zealand. We encourage your school to partake by highlighting the importance of good oral health in class with your students, their parents and wider community. We also invite you to share our social media competition and WOHD infographics.

Download the World Oral Health Day toolkit to see how your organisation can get involved!



World Oral Health Day is targeted to:

  • Individuals to take personal action
  • Schools and youth groups to deliver learning activities about oral health
  • Oral health professionals and the wider healthcare community to educate the populations they serve
  • Governments and policymakers to champion better oral health for all
  • Oral disease affects 3.9 billion people worldwide, with untreated tooth decay (dental caries) impacting almost half of the world’s population, making oral disease the most prevalent health condition in the world.

In Aotearoa New Zealand alone, around 40,000 children (0 to 14 years) had teeth removed due to decay, an abscess, infection or gum disease in 2019. In the same year, 270,000 adults (aged 15+) had one or more teeth removed due to decay, an abscess, infection or gum disease. Unfortunately, both statistics are worsening over recent years. Health specialists identify many reasons for such statistics in New Zealand, however, we as a nation can improve the prevalence of oral disease by making some simple changes in our day to day living.

How to ‘Be Proud of Your Mouth’:

  • Brush twice daily with a soft bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss between all teeth daily
  • Make water your choice of drink
  • Choose tooth safe foods that are low in sugar
  • Attend regular dental check-ups (at least once a year)
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