Have you ever looked at the calendar of days celebrated? There are a multitude of things marked that don’t bring on the attention they should. Within our profession, it’s important to celebrate the things we can share with our patients and to help encourage them to have a healthier outlook! World Cavity Free Day is October 14. It’s a day we can look towards to promote healthier oral health.
Did you know that recent statistics showed that 91% of Americans over the age of 20 have had a cavity? Globally, as reported by the United Nations in the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 estimated that oral diseases affect close to 3.5 billion people worldwide, with caries in the permanent dentition being the most frequently-occurring condition. It is estimated that 2.3 billion people suffer from caries in the permanent dentition and more than 530 million children suffer from caries in their primary teeth. This number is sobering and should cause us to act and speak to our patients every day on the risk of caries and how this risk can be minimized for each individual. This conversation should be high on our priority list. Promoting World Cavity Free Day is a great way to build knowledge on the risks and how to bring light to the problem.
Awareness. It’s a simple word with a major impact. When we make our patients aware of the problem, we are being intentional about being part of a solution. How do you promote improved oral health in your practice? Do you evaluate the patient’s needs and make recommendations for fluoride or sealants? In-office application of 5% sodium fluoride varnish for children and adults, such as Colgate PreviDent Varnish, can be provided for patients at increased risk for dental caries every 3 to 6 months (depending on the patient's risk level) to help reduce caries. At-home use of a prescription-level 5000 ppm fluoride toothpaste is also recommended for caries prevention for individuals 6 years-of-age and over at risk for dental caries. How often do you recommend daily use of a 5,000 ppm fluoride toothpaste, such as Colgate PreviDent 5000 Booster Plus, to your at-risk patients? It’s an effective and inexpensive way to help patients reduce their risk for caries.
While promoting World Cavity Free Day is important and it starts the conversation, we must also remember to live it every day. Choosing every day to promote and make patients aware of the risks in their diet, medical conditions and other risk factors, and how these can influence their oral health must be a constant conversation. We must choose to identify the risk and then choose benefits for every patient, every day.
- Sobering statistics point to the problem of caries not only in the US, but worldwide
- Making patients aware of the problem and their risk factors can help us promote products such as 5% sodium fluoride varnish and home use of 5000 ppm fluoride.
- Commit to not only one day, but a DAILY conversation to help patients improve and maintain their oral health.