The European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) invites dentists to celebrate Gum Health Day 2021 on May 12 with a series of short animated videos that use humor to highlight various oral health problems and encourage people to visit their dentist.
The EFP produced the videos to be used by its affiliated national societies of periodontology in their individual campaigns for Gum Health Day. The four 30-second videos share the message that gum diseases are preventable and call on patients to visit their dentists.
Each video focuses on a different factor that could be a sign of gum disease or play a role in provoking it, such as bad breath, wobbly teeth, sensitive teeth, and smoking.
The videos have been produced as cartoons with no spoken words so individual organizations can produce versions in different languages, as only the final frames include messages that need to be translated. Organizations also can add their own logos and details to the videos.
“We wanted to keep it as simple as possible and not overload people,” said Gum Health Day 2020 coordinator Henrik Dommisch, who emphasized that the campaign’s target audience “is the population and not the profession,” as the EFP wants “to reach everyone who may not be aware of gum disease.”
The EFP decided not to create detailed infographics with lots of information and instead to adopt an approach designed to encourage people to receive and retain key messages.
“Most of the things that are kept in mind are things that are combined or connected with emotions, whether sad emotions or happy emotions,” said Dommisch, who also is a professor and chair of the Department of Periodontology, Oral Medicine, and Oral Surgery at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
“Although periodontitis is not something to smile about—it does not look very nice and you may have bad breath—we decided to make something that is connected to good emotions, something funny,” said Dommisch.
“We want to make people smile, rather than say ‘Hey, you have to go to the dentists as you may have gum disease.’ The message is that oral health has an impact on our quality of life, and gum diseases are preventable. That’s a very positive statement,” Dommisch said.
The videos are designed for sharing via social media and instant messaging to encourage maximum reach. They also include links to the Oral Health and Gum Hub, the area for patients on the EFP website.
“Patients can visit the website and read and inform themselves,” said Dommisch. “These movies are the hints, the direction to the websites of the EFP and the national societies that share these movies, where they can get all the information that they want at their own pace.”
The animations were produced to connect seamlessly with the same background and characters so they can be combined into a two-minute movie.
The movies will be ready to be sent to the national societies around the end of January. The societies will be able to complement the material with their own resources.