October 14, 2020 is World Cavity-Free Future Day (WCFF)! But we really have a long way to go before we can achieve this goal. Dental caries is still highly prevalent across the world.
As noted by the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF), nearly all adults have dental caries and in total oral disease affects 3.9 billion people globally! Untreated dental caries impacts almost half the world's population and is a major source of pain, infection, aesthetic issues and difficulties with chewing.
This year's World Cavity-Free Future Day focuses on dental caries as disease across the life course in every age group, generation and wherever a person is from. Each individual's experience of dental disease will be different; from a child experiencing dental caries in their primary teeth, to experiences of dental caries during adulthood, and potentially to the consequences of tooth loss in older age.
- Over 600 million children - the majority of this age group - are affected by dental caries
- Almost 100% of adults have dental caries
- 30% of adults 65 to74 years-of-age have no natural teeth.
So what can we do to use October 14th to increase awareness of oral health with our patients?
We should use this day as an opener to have the conversation about dental caries with our patients. We should emphasize the importance of prevention, including brushing our teeth twice daily, the use of fluoride toothpaste such as Colgate Cavity Protection, and cutting down on sugars in order to help prevent cavities. There are some excellent resources on the ACFF page for dental professionals to use and discuss with patients, including some fantastic posters.
Having these casual conversations across all generations about dental care can be a great starter to increasing awareness about your patient's own oral health. You can also get involved by entering the 'Smiles Across Generations' competition.
The competition is a video campaign to help raise awareness on how we can achieve a cavity-free future. All you need to do is submit a 30-second video of real conversations between individuals of any age talking about how they care for their teeth for your chance to win an iPad, as well as raising awareness of WCFF Day. To find out more and to enter see the WCFF Day Campaign website.
Let's use WCFF 2020 to help achieve a cavity-free future for everyone!