Fluoride Action Network

Oral health for all-how can the development of dental public health in Germany be sustainably enhanced?

June 10th, 2021 | By Harald Strippel , Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz .
Location: Germany

Abstract – full paper in German

Public health promotes health through organised efforts of society. Oral and maxillofacial diseases and conditions are important public health problems due to the large burden of disease and oral health inequity caused by social determinants. Caries, periodontitis, traumatic dental injuries or carcinomas of the mouth and throat can be reduced by increased public health efforts. One example for a highly effective public health measure like the health-promoting modification of the product range is the addition of fluoride to toothpastes, which is largely responsible for the impressive caries decline.However, the full potential of dental public health is not yet unlocked. It therefore appears necessary to create structures such as an “oral health institution” at the federal level and through statutory mandate. Its assignment should be “oral health for all” through changes in the social and economic environments to make them conducive to oral health. By this, the already established individual and group prophylaxis would be complemented with a population-based approach. The institution’s tasks on the federal and on the federal states level should be to influence policies relevant to oral health, communication, collaboration, advanced training and research. Subdivisions of the proposed institution could provide oral health education for groups not yet reached. This would be an essential contribution to effectively addressing existing oral health problems across the population as well as for deprived and vulnerable groups.

Keywords: Advocacy; Health in all policies; Oral health; Oral health promotion; Public health.

*Article online at doi: 10.1007/s00103-021-03360-7