IFDH President's Report:

June 2023

Be the Dental Hygienist You Know You are!

Wanda Fedora RDH

As summer in the northern hemisphere approaches, here in Atlantic Canada, the trees are in full foliage and flowers are bursting with color. It is so welcome after months of grey and white.

It’s Conference Season for Many

A lot of our associations are busy with their annual conferences. One of the most exciting is the American Dental Hygienists Association celebrating an amazing 100 years! They will gather in the city of their headquarters, Chicago Illinois, and I am happy to say that I will join them. Our profession started in the USA and is now over 100 years old and we are still writing our story as we expand through the other continents in a spirit of prevention and excellence in research, clinical practice, and education.

There are many of our colleagues that have met already in 2023 and others preparing to gather throughout the Federation. Our Israel Dental Hygienists are meeting on June 12, and the weekend after the ADHA celebrates, the Korean Dental Hygienists will hold their conference on July 15 – 16. I am delighted that I will be present and speaking at the Seoul CoEx, where we will also come together for the International Symposium on Dental Hygiene in 2024. Their neighboring dental hygienists from Japan will host their conference in September on the 16th to 18th and our Danish colleagues will meet soon after on September 22nd.

Before we met in Ireland after 2 full years of virtual meetings, I felt so flat. The enthusiasm that resonates through a live gathering of like-minded individuals was missing until then, but it only took a few days of interacting with our colleagues to become inflated again and that boost has been carrying me along throughout the year. I encourage everyone to attend their annual conferences. It will validate your dedication to bringing excellent care to your patients.

FDI Sustainability in Dentistry Summit

Recently, I had the opportunity to present at the FDI Sustainability in Dentistry Summit. The event was held virtually as one would expect when we discuss sustainability. I was asked to speak on prevention, as it pertains to oral disease and sustainability.

Although the answer to sustainability could seem to be simply stated as prevention, it is more complicated than that. As an industry we must consider all aspects of what we do and how each can impact our planet. The United Nations Development Goals demonstrate the interconnectivity of many forces. When you attempt to prioritize the goals to see what ultimately is the most important one, you see the complexity in our existence.

We must strive to deliver excellent oral health care in a sustainable manner. If that is addressed in reusables, recyclables, and reduction in waste, then we are moving in the right direction. Yes, prevention can affect all of these, and it will have a huge impact on creating a more sustainable industry. I have had the opportunity to participate in various forums on sustainability and each one opens my eyes a little more. I encourage all of you to stop, step back and look at ways to be part of the solution.

House of Delegates 2023 Meeting:

September 9, 2023

Meeting in person is motivating but not always feasible. We have planned a virtual House of Delegates Mid-term Meeting for September 9th, 2023 to share the progress of our Federation with our Association representatives. There will be time to review the newly-developed strategic plan and the activities of your country associations. Circle the date on your calendar and check your email for registration info. We encourage all members to be present and hear updates from the Board and your colleagues.

My Virtual Tour Continues:

Slovak Republic, Czech Republic and Austria

As I continue my virtual member tour, I wanted to visit my friend Martina Skolnova in the Slovak Republic. I was invited to provide a recorded address for their delegates, so I decided to peek in on their website and see what else they are up to. Well, they have been very busy with webinars. Topics such as treating canker sores – Ouch! – therapeutic rinses and power brushes – all just in May! I also recommend you visit their Generation Without Decay project. It was the recipient of 2 awards at ISDH in Dublin in 2022.

I know the hygienists from the Slovak Republic are close neighbours with the dental hygienists from the Czech Republic, so I slid my mouse across the border to visit our House of Delegate members Lenka Rusinkova and Lenka Velebilova in their beautiful country. It was nice to see the IFDH and EDHF news being highlighted on their website home page. As a Canadian, I thought your sharing of the “turn on your purple” campaign very nice. I am sure my fellow Canadians appreciate the mention.

While in the region, I couldn’t pass up one of my favorite countries to visit – Austria – with their picturesque mountains and beautiful old-world charm. There are only a few dental hygienists in Austria and Anne Clare Van der Lans and her fellow dental hygienists are leading the way for a future with more colleagues.

Global Oral Health Summit 3rd in the Series:

November 4th, 2023

Experts will be gathering to address action plans to improve oral health globally, and work toward the sustainable delivery of excellent oral heath care. Representatives from IFDH, WHO, and dental hygiene social responsibility programs will motivate the attendees to do their part for our planet and oral health. Watch our website for final details.

International Symposium on Dental Hygiene:

July 11-13, 2024

It is hard to believe, but in just 13 months we will be traveling to Seoul, South Korea. I look forward to this next year and achieving great strides in the reduction of oral disease and creation of a sustainable future. The Local Organizing Committee and Scientific Committee are busy working on all aspects of the conference. More details will be available soon.

Until next time, remember – Be the Dental Hygienist You Know You are!

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