Create customized posters for World Oral Health Day

March 20 is World Oral Health Day, a day to celebrate the benefits of a healthy mouth and to promote worldwide awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance of good oral hygiene for everyone old and young.

Dental professionals from more than 70 countries will be honoring World Oral Health Day and its 2015 theme of "Smile for Life" on Friday, March 20. The observance is organized by the FDI World Dental Federation in collaboration with Listerine, Unilever, Henry Schein and Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program.

This year, participants have the ability to customize their own World Oral Health Day posters to share via Facebook or Twitter with colleagues and friends worldwide, as well as hang the posters in dental offices, schools or anywhere that public health information is available. To join the conversation on social media, use the hashtag #WOHD15.

Those interested in celebrating World Oral Health Day are encouraged to organize events on March 20 or within the month of March. Downloadable materials are available from the World Oral Health Day website at worldoralhealthday.org.

Dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease with more than 16 million children suffering from untreated tooth decay in the U.S. The mouth is the gateway to a person's overall health, and an unhealthy mouth can be linked to diabetes and even heart disease. In the U.S., oral disease causes kids to miss 51 million school hours and their parents to lose 25 million work hours annually. Additionally, oral disease disproportionately affects children from low-income families and these children have almost twice the number of decayed teeth that have not been treated by a dentist as compared to others in the general population.

To promote good oral health, CDA, along with 35 dental organizations, formed the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives and collaborated with the nationally recognized Ad Council. The coalition is in the middle of a three-year advertising campaign, aimed at raising awareness about the value of good oral health for children. To learn more and to view a campaign toolkit, visit 2min2x.adcouncil.org.

Dental professionals interested in making a positive impact in oral health locally can register by March 18 to volunteer for the CDA Cares Sacramento volunteer dental program on March 27-28 at Cal Expo. To help provide oral health care services to the large number of expected patients, the CDA Foundation is seeking volunteer dentists, especially oral surgeons and pediatric dentists, as well as lab technicians.

For more information on World Oral Health Day, visit worldoralhealthday.org.