The Oral Health Foundation launches new strategy to dramatically improve standards of dental health by 2024

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The Oral Health Foundation has launched a new global strategy, which is designed to dramatically improve standards of dental health by the year 2024. 

The charity, which works across the UK and the rest of the world, has put together proposals to reduce rates of decay, increase the focus on prevention and ensure vulnerable people have access to quality dental care. The strategy, which is entitled ‘Better Oral Health for All,’ has been drawn up to address some of the world’s most pressing and widespread dental concerns.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the foundation, said that the strategy has the potential to make significant changes to the dental health of populations across the world by tackling some of the most potent threats to public health head-on. 

Although there have been major improvements in oral health in the UK especially, there is still a long way to go. Approximately half of British adults have signs of tooth decay, and 1 in 4 children start school with at least one missing, filled or decayed tooth. The Oral Health Foundation is keen to hammer home crucial messages about oral hygiene and healthy eating, to promote the benefits of regular dental visits, and to raise awareness of oral cancer.

In the last decade alone, the number of cases of mouth cancer in the UK has almost doubled, yet public awareness remains low. Dentists are working with health experts and charities to educate people about the symptoms and risk factors of mouth cancer and encourage patients to see their dentist every 6-12 months. The most common warning signs include slow-healing mouth ulcers, red or white patches in the mouth, and abnormal lumps or inflammation. 

The new strategy focuses on giving children the best start in life, ensuring access to free advice and support for anyone with dental issues or concerns, and running campaigns based on sugar consumption, smoking, drug awareness, dental health and dementia, and the impact of alcohol.

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