Discussing Oral Health for All
Now that the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has begun, there is new hope to fight the pandemic. Nevertheless, all major events like the International Dental Show (Germany) and EuroPerio10 (Copenhagen) have been cancelled for 2021 and the symposia of IADR and FDI are replaced by virtual meetings. I sincerely hope that we will be able to meet again in person in the fall of 2021!
Earlier, IFDH encouraged each member country to engage with their government health officials to ensure Dental Hygienists - being frontline health workers - as priority in the vaccination programs. See the summary in the eNews below.
New Resources on IFDH Education Academy Web Page
In our continuing efforts to provide educational resources to our members, check the IFDH Education Academy web page for new additions, including:
CariesCare International E-Learning Series
English & Spanish
The CariesCare International e-learning series explores the different elements of the CariesCare International 4D system, a patient-centred, risk-based approach to caries management designed to help healthcare teams help patients of all ages to control the caries process and maintain health.
Interdental Cleaning to Prevent and Treat Gum Disease
The Sunstar GUM® Virtual Training "Interdental Cleaning to Prevent and Treat Gum Disease" (4 modules) reviews the relative efficacy of different interdental cleaning methods (such as floss, interdental brushes and rubber interdental cleaners), in preventing and treating gingivitis and periodontitis based upon the latest evidence from randomized controlled studies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
NEW: "IFDH Impact Awards"
There will be a total of 3 monetary prizes awarded in the following categories, based on the size of the association:
|•||Small: up to 999 members|
|•||Medium: 1000 - 3000 members|
|•||Large: over 3000 members|
The program that the awards are based on is "the association's most impactful program that has promoted the improved oral health of your country's citizens during the current calendar year." The specific topic may be narrowed each year based on community, children, seniors, etc.
The first awards will be based on 2021 programs, and will be presented at ISDH in Dublin, Ireland in August 2022. Watch for more details coming soon!
Let's put on our creative hats to see how we can bring oral health care and products to the children of our world. Proctor & Gamble is generously donating toothbrushes and small grants to support you in teaching children the proper method to brush their teeth.
Possibly you would have the brushes delivered to a school and join them virtually while their teacher assists in distributing the oral care products. Or, what about an outdoor oral health event with social distancing and fresh air to inspire the kids? We are only limited by our imagination.
Please check our web page for more information and an application, then let your global colleagues be inspired by you!
Electric Toothbrush Survey:
The IFDH is fielding its third survey in the last year. This one will help to better understand global dental hygienists' recommendation practices and information resources for electric toothbrushes.
The IFDH recently fielded a survey to explore Dental Hygienists' knowledge and recommendation habits regarding electric toothbrushes. This was the last survey in a 3-survey series to help identify opportunities for future educational programs. The survey was sent out to 34 national associations. There were 4,345 respondents, representing 36 countries. Click here for the full summary, PDF summary and PowerPoint.
COVID-19 Survey: NY Times
In addition to having almost 10,000 participants, the IFDH survey on COVID-19 was recently quoted in the NY Times.
In the third instalment of FDI's Conversations with Leading Women in Dentistry Series, they spoke to four accomplished oral health professionals hailing from around the globe: Malaysia, Canada, the United States and the Netherlands, including the IFDH President (left) and President-Elect (right).
In addition to our 100+ articles and guidelines on our COVID-19 web page, check out:
|•||See the results of IFDH association members' COVID-19 Advocacy Campaigns from around the world and status of Dental Hygienist vaccinations.|
|•||Considerations for the Provision of Essential Oral Health Services in the context of COVID-19, from the WHO.|
We have gathered over 100 articles and guidelines of COVID-19 Information, relating to our profession and posted them on our website.
See the IFDH page at http://www.ifdh.org/covid-19.html
IFDH has also posted links to pertinent information daily on our social media - Facebook and Twitter.
ISDH 2022: Only 18 Months to Dublin!
The IFDH board were on a site visit to Dublin in February 2020 and as we discussed the finer details of the ISDH 2022, we could never have imagined the changes we would have to make to how we live and work together over the past year. With vaccines now becoming available worldwide, we are, in every way, planning for a very busy face to face event, including our unique evening event at the famous Guinness factory!
The local and scientific organising committees of the ISDH have continued with preparations. Speaker invitations have been issued, identifying renowned speakers who are keen to share their expertise on a diverse range of topics which support our overall theme "The Future in Our Hands", under the four subcategories: Care, Enable, Adapt and Learn.
The main auditorium in the Convention Centre Dublin (riverfront) has a capacity audience of up to 2,000 and four other sessions in progress throughout the symposium.
Early Registration: Early registration will open by early autumn 2021. Time to start planning!!! We look forward to having you.
Call for Oral & Poster Abstracts: May 1, 2021
Research is the cornerstone of any conference program and the ISDH provides a dedicated Dental Hygiene forum for you to present to an international audience.
Remember: Register for ISDH updates on www.ISDH2022.com
Plans and details are in the works for the 2022 House of Delegates Business Meeting, preceding the ISDH in Ireland, in the small town of Malahide, just outside of Dublin. More than business and interesting discussions, will be meeting delegates from 35 countries, the full day Leadership Forum - and some fun too - including a night out at the Malahide Castle (bottom), walking distance from our beautiful, boutique hotel (top) on the waterfront. More info to come.
IFDH will start publishing a second newsletter - the IFDH Oral Health New Product Showcase, to update Dental Hygienists around the world on the latest oral health products. It will be published 3 times per year and sent to IFDH national association members to distribute to their individual members. Watch for it later this year!
Prof. Dr. Dagmar Else Slot, Dental Hygienist, educational expert, clinical epidemiologist and currently finishing an MBA in health care management, has been appointed Editor of the International Journal of Dental Hygiene. She is a Professor of Oral Prevention, in particular the clinical application, at the Department of Periodontology, Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Internationally, she is known for lectures at conferences and a strong research portfolio as a co-author of more than 125 peer-reviewed publications. In addition, she was a committee member of clinical guidelines and patient brochures.
Dagmar is the successor of Professor Dr. Kerstin Öhrn, who retired after 10 years of successfully leading the journal. She took over from Marjolijn Hovius, the founding Editor. The Dental Hygienist profession and dental research community are thankful for the 10 years that Kerstin gave to the International Journal of Dental Hygiene.
Angela Fundak, also stepped down from her role as Associate Editor. Three existing Associate Editors will continue their position, Dr. Jeanie Suvan, Prof. Dr. Sharon Compton and Dr. Birgitta Johnson. Also, Prof. Janet Kinney from the University of Michigan and Dr. Kostas Kapellas from the University of Adelaide will be joining the editorial team in the role as Associate Editors.
After launching the successful "Bad Mouth - the neglected reality" campaign last year that put the strong message on paradigm shift to oral health promotion and dental hygiene on the public radar, the DHAA is stepping up its advocacy work in 2021 to lobby for improving consumer access to our profession as an approved provider under both the public and private health insurance funding schemes.
From 1 July 2021, Dental Hygienists and oral health therapists in Australia will be covered by the Health Professionals and Support Services Award. There is a significant gap between the proposed minimum award rates and the current market salary of the profession. DHAA has put in place strategies to support members in understanding the impact of the award and providing both employers and employees with workforce and salary reports to enhance relevant information transparency on the employment market. It also provides individual support to members to protect their employment conditions and make the best of the additional award related benefits.
New IFDH Member: We founded our Belgian federation in May 2019, when the first Belgian Dental Hygienists were about to graduate. We are proud to say that less than two years later, we started 2021 with 200 members. We are happy to see that our member count is growing at a fast rate and that our Belgian dental hygienist family is expanding. This isn’t the only thing we got to celebrate: we became a proud new member of the IFDH and we look forward to our future together, in which we can interact with fellow dental hygienist federations and learn from each other.
New updates to Image Bank: Search CDHA's image bank at for a series of brand-new high-resolution photos depicting dental hygiene professionals donned in proper PPE to reflect the new heightened COVID-19 protocols.
Smoking Cessation Resources: Tobacco use is a risk factor for many oral diseases and adverse oral conditions. CDHA's new tobacco resource explains how Dental Hygienists play an important role in helping to educate individuals about the health hazards associated with tobacco use. This is a companion piece to our vaping and cannabis resources.
"Due to the Dental Hygienists focus on preventive care and the general, good dental health in Denmark, the ratio of dentists to hygienists ought to be reconsidered." The comment was published in the Danish political media Altinget and resulted in an exchange of views with one of the Danish dental organizations. It brought focus to an important subject and we hope to continue the debate during 2021.
To prevent the COVID-19 situation/B117 mutation to spread, there is currently a lockdown which includes most shops and schools. All dental clinics are regarded as a part of the health care system and stay open with a high level of restrictions and safety precautions. It seems to work. So far there are no reports on Covid-19 infection between Dental Hygienists and their patients in Denmark.
IDHA has responded to the continuing development of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few months with additional communication and information to our members, information sharing with our governing bodies and free membership for one month to Dental Council of Ireland registered Dental Hygienists. Vaccinations will begin this week to all dental team members. IDHA has been active in supporting the role of Dental Hygienists as vaccinators. We are currently organizing free spring online events for our members.
Here in Israel, at the time of writing this report, we are the end of a four-week COVID-19 lockdown which has been partially lifted. We successfully lobbied to allow dental staff to be among the first wave to be vaccinated and therefore all hygienists who wished to be vaccinated have already received their second vaccine. We also assisted with the logistics of providing hygienists an opportunity to be vaccinated at major medical centers throughout the country. The vaccines being administered are being administered in high numbers to everyone over the age of 16! Israel is ranked one of the highest "Covid-19 vaccinating" countries in the world.
Meanwhile, we continue providing almost bimonthly webinars with our first highly successful international webinar given by Dr. Stefano Checchi and Dr. Frederick Diadone of Italy.
We have been successful in our efforts to gain discounts and other perks for our membership, and of course continue planning programs and writing position papers to advance our profession. Currently, social media is a major means of communication of the importance of Dental Hygienists' role in maintaining good oral and overall health.
Being recognized by the Ministry of Health as essential workers was a major achievement!
On November 20th and 21st 2020 we held our 30th AIDI National Congress. This was a virtual event, in which Italian and foreign speakers took part exploring many aspects related to the world of medicine, the tiring situation of the global pandemic we are all facing, and touching the rough and sad scourge of violence against women. AIDI, which has now become a scientific company in all respects, will continue its virtuous path aimed at raising awareness and spreading a transversal culture, focused on the growth and evolution of the Dental Hygienists. At the end of the Congress, Dr. Antonella Abbinate was elected as President until November 2024.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges, particularly in dental hygiene. To characterize the reality of oral hygienists in clinical activity as a result of the pandemic caused by SARS COV-2 a questionnaire was developed by the Dental Hygienists Portuguese Association. The results indicate that oral hygienists maintain high standards of clinical practice, apply cross-infection control protocols and follow the recommendations of reference institutions in order to ensure the health and safety of patients and the team members with whom they interact. Further studies will be carried out in the future.
Editors: Peter Anas, Executive Director,
Clare Karpinski, Membership & Project Coordinator
with support from
100 South Washington St., Rockville MD 20850 USA.
Phone: 240-778-6790 • Web: www.IFDH.org
March 26-27: Finnish Professional Association for Dental Hygienists - Nationwide Oral Hygienist Days
April 30- May 1: New Zealand Dental Hygienists’ Association (NZDHA) - Joint Conference
May 6-7: Norwegian Dental Hygienists Association - Annual dental hygienist conference
May 15: Belgian Professional Association for Dental Hygienist - Annual Conference
June 18-20: American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) Annual Conference
June 26: IFDH Global Oral Health Summit
September 18-30: Japan Dental Hygienists Association (JDHA) - 16th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Dental Hygiene (Virtual)
October 15-16: Spanish Association of Oral Hygienists (HIDES) - National Meeting
October 28-30: CDHA & ADHA - Joint Conference
Oct 28-30: Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA) - National Symposium
November 11-13: ADI National Congress)
November 12-13: The Irish Dental Hygienists Association (Irish DHA) - Annual Dental Hygienist Conference
November 19: Swiss Dental Hygienists - Annual Fall Conference
November 26-27: British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) - Oral Health Conference