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Partners in Social Responsibility Program
dentsply sirona preventive
colgate
glaxo smith kline
colgate

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 60-90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental caries worldwide. This disease, which can be prevented, causes children to experience pain making it difficult to learn, eat, smile, and speak. Oral disease in children and adults is higher among poor and disadvantaged population groups.

The WHO reports that risk factors for oral disease such as caries include an unhealthy diet, poor oral hygiene, and social determinants. Preventing caries includes decreasing sugar intake and maintaining a well-balanced nutritional diet, ensuring proper oral hygiene, maintaining a constant low level of fluoride in the oral cavity, and providing access to professional dental and dental hygiene care. However, traditional dental care remains a significant economic burden for many countries. This high cost of dental treatment can be avoided by effective prevention and health promotion measures.

To address the world oral health crisis, the WHO recommends developing and implementing community-based projects for oral health promotion and prevention of oral diseases with a focus on disadvantaged and poor population groups, and advocacy for a common risk factor approach to simultaneously prevent oral and other chronic diseases.

The International Federal of Dental Hygienists (IFDH), with our 32 member countries representing over 82,000 dental hygienists, believes that we have a social responsibility to address the oral health condition that exists worldwide, particularly that affecting children.

Our Mission is to:

  • Promote access to quality preventive oral health services.
  • Increase public awareness that oral disease can be prevented through proven regimens.
  • Provide a forum for the understanding and discussion of issues pertaining to dental hygiene.

We believe that the IFDH must have a call to action to address our social responsibility in preventing caries in children worldwide.

Purpose
The purpose of the Partners in Social Responsibility Program is to join with our corporate partners to create and implement 3 call-to-action campaigns.

  1. This first program was designed to build awareness among the IFDH House of Delegates and included a 2.5 hour workshop held at the House of Delegates meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland on June 21, 2016, where representatives of all 32 member countries were present. Speakers from around the globe educated those present on successful social responsibility programs and more.

    This program set the stage for delegates to understand their role in supporting social responsibility programs within their respective countries and worldwide. They were charged with initiating further discussions about social responsibility in their respective countries and identifying teams to attend the 2017 conference below.
  2. This program, held in July 2017, had a focus on designing action plans that are community-based and advocacy-focused to prevent caries in children. The two-day conference brought together experts in prevention programs, health literacy, and social responsibility who will assist dental hygienists in creating the steps needed to be effective in health promotion and disease prevention. Read the Declaration approved by the attendees. See photos and video highlights.
  3. Social Responsibility Awareness Workshop 2019
    The third element of this program is designed to move to the third stage of education among the IFDH House of Delegates and includes a 2.5 hour workshop to be held at the House of Delegates meeting in Seoul Korea in 2019, where representatives of all member countries will be present. Representatives from countries who have implemented social responsibility programs recently will provide updates on their programs. Those countries who have yet to implement a program will be charged with initiating further discussions about social responsibility in their respective countries.

The IFDH and the Global Child Dental Fund had an awards program from 2014 – 2016 to recognize, on an annual basis, hygienists and student hygienists who participate in a volunteering project which benefits disadvantaged children, mainly but not exclusively in low- and middle-income countries. Read more about this program and learn about the award recipients.