Whole mouth health

Oral diseases affect approximately half of the global population (3.58 billion people), and they are the most common noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) worldwide. Oral diseases impact people throughout their lifetime and have been linked to maternal infections as well as systemic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Whole Mouth Health

Improving health literacy for better oral health

Health literacy is the ability to understand and take action on health information and make decisions about personal well-being. Health literacy enables people to become autonomous in their health management and engage in informed health choices with their healthcare provider. Limited oral health literacy disproportionality affects people in certain groups, contributing to challenges with health equity, in-turn leading to poorer health outcomes overall and an increased risk of dental caries and periodontal disease.

It is essential to make patients aware that good oral health does not stop at only brushing. The Whole Mouth Health project was launched in 2019 to promote oral health literacy as important for everyday prevention, and to create a platform that focuses on oral health literacy by offering personalized dental health education in a way people can understand and apply to their lives.

Project goals

Goal 1

Identify the oral health literacy principles needed to achieve whole mouth health and to highlight the importance of patient understanding for better oral health outcomes

Goal 2

Provide tools and resources to empower clinicians to deliver patient-centred oral health messages and allow patients to make better oral health choices through an understanding of those messages

Goal 3

Advocate globally to promote oral health literacy as an important element of everyday prevention

Whole Mouth Health digital activities

The Whole Mouth Health project is focused on promoting oral health literacy and building understanding of the principles of whole mouth health. The project is using a co-design methodology to actively engage with a range of communities around the world, to investigate the lived experience of whole mouth health, and to co-create a series of resources that can help build oral health literacy. The video introduction on this page provides an overview of a series of digital resources that have been created to augment and expand the work that is being done with physical workbooks in communities around the world.

The beta version of the digital activities available on this website, are designed to help collect input into the project, and to provide an opportunity for community members to get involved in the design and development of a suite of oral health literacy resources.

You can learn more about the project on the Whole Mouth Health project page, or by watching a webinar on the first stage of the project, or the second stage of the project


The Whole Mouth Health project is supported by Colgate.


FDI project_Whole Mouth Health
Whole Mouth Health summit proceedings define a pathway to global oral health literacy
Introducing the Whole Mouth Health Project_proceeding
Introducing the Whole Mouth Health Project: Oral health literacy, behaviour change, and empowering patients to improve their oral health

These proceedings give an introduction to the Whole Mouth Health project introduced at the FDI World Dental Congress in San Francisco, United States on 5 and 7 September 2019.

Whole Mouth Health Statement
Whole Mouth Health Statement

Maintaining a healthy microbiome plays a fundamental role in maintaining a healthy mouth and a healthy body. The microbiome exists on every surface of the oral cavity.


Whole Mouth Health Arcade

Take a fun journey into the mouth!

The Whole mouth health project is supported by :