The Dentist Magazine.

Charity announces new strategy for better oral health

Published: 8/5/2019 12:00:00 AM

The Oral Health Foundation has launched its new strategy for oral health, which will run until 2024. 

The new strategy, Better oral health for all, addresses the world’s growing oral health demands. It also sets out how the charity will tackle oral disease and help improve the quality of life for millions of people in the UK and around the world.

In a bid to eradicate dental disease and build a healthier society, the charity’s new strategy focuses on a series of key oral health pledges. These include:

  • Helping the most vulnerable members of society with oral health campaigns across local communities.
  • Making sure young people are given the very best start in life by providing them with the means to have a healthy mouth.
  • Giving all people access to free, practical and emotional support for their oral health problems.
  • Meeting the needs of organisations by creating products and programmes so they can deliver trusted educational messages and training for better oral health.
  • Making an impact on the health of future generations by influencing public health policy.

The strategic document comes at a time where half the globe’s adult population have tooth decay, including 500 million children who have decay in their baby teeth.

Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, believes the new strategy will have a significant impact on the charity’s work, improving the oral health and wellbeing of the population. He said, “We are more determined than ever before to champion good oral health and help create a better, healthier future for everyone.

“Despite many positive changes to the landscape of oral health, there is still more work to be done. Twice-daily brushing, an excess of sugar in our food and drink and access to basic dental services, all remain difficult challenges.

“We also have to address the rise of mouth cancer, along with driving high uptake of a gender-neutral vaccination for the human papillomavirus (HPV). These are coupled with an ongoing need to prevent dental caries and promote the benefits of fluoride.

“Poverty, mobility, independence and isolation all affect a person’s ability to care for their oral health. Our society must break these barriers and give everybody the opportunity to be in good oral health.”   

To help more people achieve good oral health, the Oral Health Foundation plans to strengthen its partnership work with the dental and health profession, local councils and the education sector. The charity will also become more involved in policy, lobbying government for positive changes.

By 2024, the Oral Health Foundation aims to:

  • Reduce the high level of oral disease across the country.
  • Improve the accessibility and diversity of all oral health information and support services.
  • Work with health bodies, workplaces and schools, to make sure everybody receives trusted information, materials and resources for their oral health. 
  • Help people become healthier by successfully campaigning for better policies.
  • Protect the public by making sure oral health products do what they claim to do.

Throughout the five-year strategy, the charity will also organise several new oral health campaigns on sugar, dementia, alcohol, smoking and drug awareness. These factors have been identified due to the negative impact they can have on oral health and general healthiness and wellbeing.

Professor Elizabeth Kay, president of the Oral Health Foundation, wants to continue tackling the core issues that are disrupting the oral health of millions across the world. She explained, “Oral health inequalities and poor lifestyle factors continue to impact the most vulnerable members of our society through no real fault of their own. The Oral Health Foundation, through its new strategy, will continue to lead the way in campaigning for better oral health and an improvement in quality of life.”

The Oral Health Foundation’s strategy 2024 in full can be downloaded in full here.

To find out more about the Oral Health Foundation’s work, visit www.dentalhealth.org.