Oral health policy report released by Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future

The A Global Consensus for Achieving a Dental Cavity-Free Future consensus report proposes key policy recommendations that, if adopted, would embolden the campaign for an orally healthier future.

Released by the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (the ACFF), the organisation behind World Cavity-Free Future Day which is celebrated on 14 October each year, the report contains a comprehensive list of policy recommendations that Dentistry Today notes, “would help secure the changes needed to push toward a future free from cavities.”

Dental caries poses a significant health challenge throughout the world with tooth decay and oral disease affects 3.9 billion people, with untreated tooth decay impacting almost half of the world’s population.

Australia’s Adult Oral Health Tracker emphasises the extent of tooth decay in Australia, with figures showing that untreated tooth decay affects just over 32% of adults, a 6.6% increase since 2004/06.

Children are doing as poorly with the latest figures from the 2018 Children and Young People Oral Health Tracker showing that 34.3% of children aged 5-6 years have experienced decay in their primary teeth while among children aged six to fourteen years, 23.5% have experienced tooth decay in their permanent teeth with 10.9% of this age group having untreated tooth decay (27.1% among children aged five to ten years of age).

With dental caries, which disproportionately affecting people from disadvantaged backgrounds, a largely preventable condition which can be successfully managed with “appropriate measures”, the ACFF brought together experts in dental and public health in 2020 in the the Making Cavities History Taskforce (Taskforce).

This taskforce was charged with developing a raft of policy recommendations which have bene published in A Global Consensus for Achieving a Dental Cavity-Free Future which Dentistry Today states would “cover the full scope of caries management.”

The recommendations … include both public and professional education, diet and nutrition, a shift to preventive dental medicine, and comprehensive data collection to monitor the issue, the ACFF said.

The report, which has the backing of a number of international organisations including the World Federation of Public Health Associations, has been released in support of the WHO 2021 Resolution on Oral Health.

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