14 October 2017 marked the second annual World Cavity-Free Future Day (WCFFDay), an initiative launched in 2016 by the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF) to address the need for greater global awareness of dental caries. Dental caries, when left unaddressed, can lead to dental cavities. Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities. Most of the people affected don’t know that early stages of dental caries can be prevented and controlled. World Cavity Free-Future Day seeks to engage communities across the globe in educating them about the reality of dental caries, and to encourage a move to increase caries prevention resources for those with limited access to dental care and those who have access to care but find it is still largely surgically focused.
The assembly of local, national and international organizations who support this initiative continues to grow, with activities this year taking place spanning six continents. Partners and experts who have joined together for World Cavity-Free Future Day believe that a good starting place for cavity reduction is focusing on the importance of brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes and reducing sugar intake.
“With the high prevalence of dental decay Globally, World Cavity-Free Future Day reminds us that bringing together the experiences of dental and other health professionals as well as patients is the key to the building a successful model for caries prevention,” said Professor Nigel Pitts, Global Chair, Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future. “United, we must promote models for prevention to equip dental and related health workforces to deliver preventive caries care and, in turn, invest in longer-term actions that shift both public and industry behaviors.”
To raise awareness, multiple programs took place in support of WCFFDay, including:
- Community health projects
- Free oral health screenings
- Digital engagement drives
- Primary school education initiatives
“We believe that collectively we can significantly decrease the burden of cavities in communities and help secure a cavity-free future for future generations,” said Professor Pitts. “Now is the time to bring together patients, dental and other health professionals, families, public policy experts, and other stakeholders committed to fighting cavities today and every day to demonstrate the value that a cavity-free future holds for our future.”
For those interested in finding resources on cavity prevention, more information can be found at www.wcffday.com.