March 1

World Federation of Orthodontists (WFO) Smile Flag 2020

March 1, 2020

Written by Dr Nikhilesh R. Vaid
President Elect, WFO

The World Federation of Orthodontists, WFO will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year and the celebrations will begin on World Orthodontic Health Day (15th May 2020) and continue through to the Opening Ceremonies of the 9th International Orthodontic Conference (4th – 6th October 2020) in Yokohama, Japan. 

As part of this Silver Jubilee Celebrations, the WFO has organised the "Smile Flag" journey. This is a specially created ‘Smile Flag’ that will see affiliates and fellows participate in the Flag journeys around the world and is likely to be the largest global orthodontic event. Each Smile Flag will be stitched or tied together (region by region) as a symbolic gesture of how the “world is united” to celebrate this important event in orthodontic history.

The Smile Flag program was developed by the WFO Promotions Committee under the leadership of Dr. Vaid (Chairperson) and Drs Cruz and Zhou. The Committee hopes that the Smile Flag celebrations will bring a festive element to an observance of importance to the orthodontic specialty worldwide. Furthermore, the flag will be designed to convey the importance of a healthy smile as well as the spirit of excellence within orthodontics.

The Smile Flag program will commence at the American Association of Orthodontists Annual Session (1st – 4th May 2020) in Atlanta, Georgia where Dr Thom, President of WFO will present flags to representatives of each of the six regions of the WFO. Representatives of the Asian Pacific Orthodontic Society (APOS) will include Drs Nikhilesh Vaid, Yanheng Zhou and Keiji Moriyama for Central and East Asia and Dr Himawan Halim for South East Asia and Oceania. In turn, the flags will be passed onto the respective affiliate societies who will form a relay pattern of flag transfer, from one to another, until the final flag reaches Yokohama for the 9th IOC and the 12th Asian Pacific Orthodontic Conference (APOC). 

“We invite all APOS members orthodontists to participate in the Smile Flag events, take photos and share them on their websites and social media platforms with #WFO@25,” adds Dr. Vaid. These are a few examples of the events that can be carried out: 

  1. Painting/art competition
  2. 25 trees planted around the world on 15th May 2020
  3. Smile /orthodontic awareness run
  4. Continuing education lectures
  5. Public awareness lectures / advertisements
  6. Donated orthodontic services
  7. Orthodontic screenings
  8. School check-ups/ outreach programs
  9. School projects such as video competitions
  10. Selfie with braces competitions
  11. Hashtag competitions 

Please contact the WFO regional representatives or your APOS Executive Committee Member if you would like to have a Smile Flag activity at your association meeting, a public healthcare event, in your university department or in your office. Please do take note of the tentative itinerary for your region as follows: 

*Central & East Asia:

5th May-23rd May 2020 - IOS
23rd May- 1st Jun 2020 – KAO
1st Jun-15th Jun 2020 - COS
15th Jun-25th Jun 2020- ODOAN
25th Jun-5th Jul 2020- PAO
5th Jul-12th Jul 2020 SLOS
12th Jul-21st Jul 2020 BOS
20th Jul-31st July 2020 ThAO
1st Aug- 25th Aug 2020 HKSO, MacAO, Vietnam,Laos – To be confirmed 
Aug 25th-5th Sep 2020 MoAO
5th Sep-15th Sep 2020 TAO
15th Sep onwards until IOC/APOC -JOS.

*The dates are subject to minor alterations.
The schedule for South East Asia and Oceania is still being finalised.


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