Plans for Gum Health Day 2020 on 12 May have been adapted in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the widespread restrictions on public events and free movement.
The emphasis is now on using digital and online tools to promote the message of "Say NO to bleeding gums" to raise public awareness of how bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease and to encourage good oral hygiene to help prevent it.
“Most of the initiatives related to Gum Health Day will be online this year,” said Andreas Stavropoulos, coordinator of Gum Health Day 2020. “Due to the exceptional public-health concerns we all are experiencing, it will not be possible to conduct some activities traditionally related to our awareness day.”
The EFP has prepared a set of new tools and content (including extra videos, infographics and graphics) fully consistent with the Gum Health Day 2020 toolkit previously provided and connected to the Covid-19 pandemic. These materials are being made available to the federation’s 37 affiliated national societies of periodontology for use on their their websites, publications, and social-media pages, and they can be edited as translated as required.
Specific new initiatives include:
- A social-media “challenge”, asking followers to contribute an image or a short video (less than 15 seconds) illustrating the idea of “Taking care of my gums while at home”.
- Social-media polls and quizzes about bleeding gums and gum health.
- A live 15-minute educational session on Instagram, on Tuesday 12 May at 16.00 CET, which will show how bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease.
In a letter to the national societies sent on 22 April, Prof Stavropoulos explains how the EFP wants to create a group video with speakers from each society, inviting them to provide short videos (in vertical format) with a spokesperson saying in the local language “Brush your teeth, say no to bleeding gums. Wash your hands often and stay healthy.”
The EFP is also encouraging national societies of periodontology to use the provided toolkit in their websites and social media, to use the hashtag #GumHealthDay so that all posts are co-ordinated, and to encourage their members to sign and circulate EFP Manifesto on periodontal and general health.
Finally, the EFP has prepared a Gum Health Day 2020 playlist of videos on its YouTube Channel.
“The unprecedented situation created around the world by the Covid-19 pandemic, including the lockdown, is a very big challenge for all of us,” said Andreas Stavropoulos. “Despite the current difficult environment, we will celebrate Gum Health Day 2020 – more digital than ever!”