Estonian and Palestinian dental associations receive FDI Smile Awards
SAN FRANCISCO, U.S.: FDI World Dental Federation recognized the 2019 Smile Award winners at the ADA FDI World Dental Congress in San Francisco on 3 September. Presented every year, the FDI Smile Award acknowledges FDI member national dental associations around the globe that have developed sustainable, long-term projects to improve oral health. This year, the Estonian and Palestinian dental associations were both presented with awards.
The Estonian dental association was awarded for its children’s dental health project. The project focuses on oral health education and promotion and oral disease prevention among children and adults. Oral health education in Estonia is challenging and oral health continues to be poor. As part of the project, the “Clean Teeth” campaign provides a toothbrushing journal for kindergarten classrooms around the country and encourages teachers to record each student’s toothbrushing habits in the journal each day. So far, the campaign has reached close to 12,000 kindergartners. Preliminary results of the initiative indicate that the number of children brushing their teeth twice daily is increasing every month and participating children are enjoying the project. Next year, the project will aim to train all kindergarten teachers in Estonia on oral health education so that all kindergartners will receive oral health lessons on a regular basis.
The Palestinian dental association received a Smile Award for its Dental-Point Project, which provides oral health care to the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. Conditions in the camp are notoriously miserable, and the Dental-Point Project clinic is its sole provider of urgently needed oral health care services. In addition to providing emergency dental treatment, the clinic offers oral health education sessions to children and adults to demonstrate toothbrushing techniques and show how to take care of their oral health, despite the difficult living conditions. The clinic regularly distributes toothpaste and toothbrushes, and volunteer oral health professionals apply fluoride gel and silver diamine fluoride to patients’ teeth. The project aims to recruit even more oral health professionals to ensure continuity of care throughout the year.
The Smile Award is part of the Whole Mouth Health Project. Launched by FDI in 2019 and supported by Colgate, the project aims to promote oral health literacy as a driver in everyday oral disease prevention. More specifically, the project aims to empower practitioners to deliver personalized oral health education in a way people can understand and apply to their daily lives.