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25 July 2023

Time to act for better oral health in Europe

Categories:Communication, Institutional

Oral health platform

On June 30th, the EFP became a board member of the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe.

The platform seeks to:

  • Encourage oral health and the prevention of oral diseases as a fundamental to good general health
  • Enhance the EU’s oral health policy, including incorporating oral health into relevant policies
  • Secure EU action on oral health
  • Reduce oral health inequalities and challenges, especially among vulnerable populations like children and adolescents, the elderly, and those with special needs
  • Serve as a trusted resource of best practices, evidence-based information, and policy guidance on oral health
  • Invest in cost-effective oral health promotion strategies and accessible high quality oral healthcare.

The Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe is a joint initiative created to respond a Call to Action for Better Oral Health by EU then Health Commissioner John Dalli in 2010. It’s call to action is summed up as: “Time to act for better oral health in Europe.”

The EFP began the membership process in 2022, under the presidency of Professor Andreas Stavropoulos. “The EFP has been an associate member of the Platform for Oral Health in Europe for several years and thus could follow its important work,” he explained. “By becoming a board member, however, the EFP will be more actively involved and be able to contribute more towards the common goal: a better oral health in Europe. As I often say, together we are stronger, and we can achieve so much more.”

EFP President, Darko Bozić commented: “I am proud to let EFP members know that we have become board members of the EU Oral Health Platform. This is a big strategic move by the EFP, and we are looking forward to collaborating on projects to improve oral health.”

The socio-economic burden of oral diseases in the EU is substantial. They affect most school-aged children and adults, and account for 5% of public health spending. Costs of traditional curative treatment continue to rise. According to the platform, “treatment expenditure exceeds that for other diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, and dementia. This is disturbing, given that much of the oral disease burden is preventable.”

Bozić concludes: “We know oral health is an important component of quality of life and an integral part of general health. We join platform members in calling for better oral health education, promotion, and access to care in Europe.”

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