Launched at last weekend’s meeting of the American Public Health Association, the Canada-United States chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACCF) will aim to facilitate collaboration among its member groups to ensure that children born after 2026 don’t face cavities in their lifetimes.
“Too often, we accept the occurrence of cavities as the status quo,” said Margherita Fontana, DDS, PhD, co-chair of the chapter. “We know caries management is achievable by utilizing evidence-based approaches to reverse, stop, and prevent tooth decay and by establishing interprofessional partnerships that can help reduce disparities in certain populations of children.”
According to the ACCF, 60% to 90% of school children worldwide and nearly 100% of adults have tooth decay. In Canada, children miss about 2.26 million days of school each year due to dental-related illnesses. In the United States, children are 5 times more likely to seek emergency room treatment for dental problems than for asthma, often because they can’t see a dentist, are uninsured, or can’t afford routine dental care.
The Canada-United States chapter will strive to increase the number of medical offices that routinely recommend brushing a child’s teeth with fluoridated toothpaste, a healthy diet, and the use of fluoride varnish. The ACCF believes that collaborative action is required to raise awareness of dental caries and positively influence dental health habits.
“We need to commit to developing systems at various jurisdictional levels that encourage the policy makers and all health professionals to work together in addressing this disease,” said Alyssa Hayes, BDent(Hons), MSc, FRDC(C ), co-chair of the chapter. “Collectively, we can educate the public and encourage leaders in health care to take action.”