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New Universal Definition of Oral Health

The FDI World Dental Federal has released a new definition that opens the door to a universal understanding of oral health.

As defined by FDI, oral health:

  • Is multi-faceted and includes the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and convey a range of emotions through facial expressions with confidence and without pain, discomfort and disease of the craniofacial complex.
  • Is a fundamental component of health and physical and mental wellbeing. It exists along a continuum influenced by the values and attitudes of individuals and communities;
  • Reflects the physiological, social and psychological attributes that are essential to the quality of life; 
  • Is influenced by the individual’s changing experiences, perceptions, expectations and ability to adapt to circumstances.

The definition was adopted by over 200 national dental associations.

The FDI World Dental Federation, headquartered in Geneva, serves as the principal representative for over a million dentists worldwide, and its membership includes some 200 national member associations and specialist groups in more than 130 countries.