We celebrate World Oral Health Day every year on 12th September to raise awareness of the burden of oral diseases and call for policy action. In the run up to WOHD 2012, the Platform organised the first European Oral Health Summit at the European Parliament, in Brussels, under the auspices of the Cyprus Presidency of the EU, and with the support of MEPs Karin Kadenbach and Cristian Busoi.
More than 140 decisionmakers and experts from across Europe attended the summit, with speakers including the European Commission, the Cyprus Presidency of the European Union and some of the leading oral health experts from across Europe, including Prof. David Williams, Prof. Eeva Widström and Prof. Kenneth Eaton. Catch some snippets of the day’s discussions on the Platform’s Twitter page here. The full picture gallery can be accessed here.
During the Summit, the Platform launched its newly published report on the State of Oral Health in Europe. The report, authored by Dr Reena Patel, Dental Advisor, examined some the key issues relating to oral health:
- Prevalence and trends of oral diseases in Europe;
- Assessment of economic impact of oral diseases in Europe;
- Identification of best practice initiatives in oral health promotion across Europe;
- Development of a set of key recommendations for decision-makers to improve oral health in Europe.
Presenting the results of the report, Member of the European Parliament Ms. Karin Kadenbach said, “In a time of austerity measures and growing pressure on healthcare budgets, this report is a timely reminder that we have to tackle the persisting disparities in oral health across and within EU countries, with regards to socioeconomic status, age, gender, or indeed general health status.” Speaking at the Summit, Professor Kenneth Eaton, Chairman of the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe, called for more policy attention and action on the topic of oral health. “At the EU level, there is currently a lack of understanding about the integral role oral health plays in overall health and well-being,” he said. “On behalf of the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe, I hope and believe we finally have the adequate tools and procedures in place to work effectively together and foster policy decisions which will benefit the oral health of everyone in Europe in the years to come.”
Outside the European Parliament, oral health awareness raising activities had been organised to generate interest in Brussels. More than 2000 people received advice and information, together with oral hygiene bags with products to take care of their teeth and more than 50 people were checked in a mobile dental clinic NoviaCura in front of the Parliament on the day by dentists from the Flamish Dental Association, Verbond der Vlaamse Tandartsen vzw. Over half of attendants had dental plaque and over a third had dental cavities. Dentists provided advice on brushing techniques and suggested fast attendance to dental practice for treatment. Only 1/4 of attendants had no oral hygiene problem.
Watch speakers’ presentations here:
- Ms Karin Kadenbach, MEP: introductive remarks – towards a European oral health strategy
- Mr. Cristian Busoi, MEP: closing remarks – a European oral health strategy: what would be in it?
- Dr. Christina Yiannaki: views of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU
- Mr. Martin Seychell: views of the European Commission
- Prof. Kenneth Eaton: introducing the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe
- Prof. Poul-Erik Petersen: the oral disease burden in Europe
- Dr. Eeva Widström: trends in oral hygiene and prevention policies
- Prof. David Williams: a global perspective on oral health inequalities
- Dr. Paula Vassallo: tackling the oral health data gap in Europe
- Prof. Cecilia Christersson: educating oral health in Europe
- Prof. Martin Hennequin: responding to special needs
- Dr. Monika Gyenes: oral cancer screening programmes
Download our publications below
The State of Oral Health in Europe ReportDownload