Tooth decay is well understood. It’s a dynamic disease that can be influenced by lifestyles and policies. Tooth decay can be prevented by encouraging communities in economic transition to resist sweetened food and drink products and trust their own traditional diet. Adoption of other behavioural changes, such as daily tooth brushing with fluoride, can also provide great health benefit to these communities if guided professionally. Community public policies are important in permitting fluoride in the food/water supply, enabling healthy products and labelling in the marketplace. While the solutions may sound simple, implementation in places where sodas are cheaper and safer than water, or where families share one toothbrush, requires creative and collaborativeprogramming.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them
Our strategy is to develop collaborations that will enable the development, testing, and promotion of innovative models that support communities in achieving healthy lifestyles.
We provide vulnerable children with the means and motivation to prevent oral pathology and morbidity by implementing simple behavioural and dietary adjustments to their daily routine.
We work with communal learning environments, such as local schools, community centres, orphanages and shelters to help provide access to preventive oral health care.
The Humble Smile Foundation, together with academic partners, advocates and develops capacity building models whereby volunteer teams educate and train local staff, community leaders and care-givers to promote specific behaviour-based preventive oral health initiatives.
Our principle dental health measures are:
– Implementation of monitored tooth-brushing in schools
– Modification of the amount of sugar in the diet
– Topical fluoridation.
Adjunctive activities include: education; motivation; research and emergency services.
Supporting school health in this way aims at broad exposure to the host population, while maximising long-term benefit, and minimising cost and any potential dangers to the local infrastructure.
Additionally, adoption of such healthy habits at a young age may prevent systemic diseases with common risk factors such as cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.
All of these efforts are part of our vision for a humble planet in which each community can live with dignity in healthy and hygienic living conditions.