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World Oral Health Day

Oral diseases are largely preventable. Still, tooth decay affects the majority of children in the Asia, resulting in pain, discomfort, and infection negatively impacting overall health and wellbeing and nutritional intake.  This is not only true for Asia- globally, more than 3.5 billion cases of oral diseases impair children and adults. Global Oral Health Day, which is celebrated annually on March 20, aims to raise awareness and address the afflicting burden of oral diseases.

Schools can play a pivotal role in the prevention of oral diseases and the promotion of oral health. The Regional Fit for School Programme has been supporting the Ministries of Education for more than a decade in providing an enhancing school environment through better access to water and sanitation and develop hygiene routines, which are evidence-based public health interventions. Through daily group toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste learners benefit from the preventive effect of fluoride and develop  good oral hygiene behaviours. Organizing the intervention as group activity is not only fun for the children but also facilitates implementation in the school setting. Overall, group toothbrushing in the school setting is an example of intersectoral collaboration between the education and health sectors and a realistic implementation model for preventive interventions as called for in the WHO Global Oral Health Strategy adopted in 2022.