ISA supports World Oral Health Day 2024

This year, ISA once again proudly supports World Oral Health Day (WOHD), reaffirming its consistent engagement in this awareness day since 2013.

World Oral Health Day is celebrated every year on March 20th and is an initiative of FDI World Dental Federation. This awareness day aims to help reduce the burden of oral diseases, which affect individuals, health systems, and economies everywhere, and empower people with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to secure good oral health.

Oral diseases are among the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) worldwide, affecting an estimated 3.5 billion people1. They are linked to other chronic NCDs, sharing common causal pathways, thus affecting our overall health1. 2024 will mark the first year of the “A happy mouth is…” campaign, with the theme “A HAPPY MOUTH IS… A HAPPY BODY,” focusing on prioritising oral health for better overall health.

For WOHD 2024, ISA has developed a new factsheet explaining the impact of excess sugar intake on tooth decay and the role of low/no calorie sweeteners (LNCS) in oral health. We have also recently updated the ISA booklet on “Low/no calorie sweeteners: Role and Benefits,” which serves as a guide to the science of low/no calorie sweeteners, including a dedicated chapter on oral health. The ISA press release is available here.

Low/no calorie sweeteners can help cut down on sugars in the diet for… a happy mouth!

For our 2024 WOHD campaign, ISA aims to improve oral health literacy for a happy mouth and raise awareness of the role of a healthy, low-sugar diet in overall health.

Consuming too much sugar affects oral health by contributing to dental caries or tooth decay2. Cutting down on the frequency and quantity of sugary treats can reduce the risk of oral health problems. Choosing a low/no calorie sweetened alternative in place of sugary foods or drinks can contribute to good dental health3.

Unlike sugars, low/no calorie sweeteners are not fermentable ingredients, meaning they are not broken down by bacteria in our mouth and do not contribute to dental caries4. A recent review study also suggested that, contrary to sugars, low/no calorie sweeteners inhibit oral biofilm formation and activity5. Low/no calorie sweeteners have even been recognised for helping our teeth retain the minerals they need to maintain hardness and strength6.

Follow ISA on social media and engage with us using #ISA4WOHD and #WOHD24 to help spread the message that a #HappyMouth is a happy body!

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Global oral health status report: towards universal health coverage for oral health by 2030; 2022.

  2. World Health Organization (WHO) Guideline: Sugars intake for adults and children. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2015.  
  3. FDI Policy Statement: Sugar substitutes and their role in caries prevention. Adopted by the FDI General Assembly; 26th September 2008, Stockholm, Sweden.
  4. Gibson S, Drewnowski J, Hill A, Raben B, Tuorila H, Windstrom E. Consensus statement on benefits of low-calorie sweeteners. Nutrition Bulletin 2014;39(4):386-389.
  5. Jeong GJ, Khan F, Tabassum N, Kim YM. Alteration of oral microbial biofilms by sweeteners. Biofilm. 2023 Dec 13;7:100171.
  6. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA); Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to intense sweeteners. EFSA Journal. 2011;9(6):2229. [26 pp.].