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May 2016

The Brussels Statement on the Future Needs for Caries Epidemiology and Surveillance in Europe

Following debate and discussion prompted by a focussed, day long pre-ORCA Symposium in July 2015, the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future Pan-European Chapter, the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe, the European Association of Dental Public Health and the European Organisation for Caries Research (ORCA) have agreed this statement on the future needs for caries epidemiology and surveillance in Europe. Each organisation agreed to support the publication of the Statement, make it available on their Organisation’s websites and strive to implement its recommendations.

Download The Brussels Statement on the Future Needs for Caries Epidemiology and Surveillance in Europe Declaration.

Nov 2015

Over 60% of Europeans admit to consuming an unhealthy amount of sugar per day

Over 60% of Europeans admit to consuming more sugar than recommended, and need more help to understand the impact this is having on their oral health. These are some of the new findings released today by the Pan-European Chapter of the global charity, the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF), along with advice on how to cut down daily sugar consumption.

Current guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend that adults and children should reduce their daily sugar intake to less than 10% of their overall daily calorie consumption, which is equal to 50 grams of sugar per day, or 4 tablespoons. The WHO guidelines further recommend that an ideal sugar intake should be less than 5% of the overall daily calorie consumption. The health benefits from following these guidelines include reducing the risk of tooth decay, which affects nearly 100% of people.
The survey findings also demonstrated that 60% of Europeans would like to work with their dental team to improve their personal oral care and would appreciate the use of a traffic light system to help them better understand and lower their personal risk of tooth decay.

“The good news is that people want to better understand their risk of tooth decay. It’s really important that we address the educational issues and try to help support individuals in a productive way”, said Svante Twetman, co-chair of the ACFF Pan-European Chapter and Professor of Cariology at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Find more information about the ACFF 3rd Public Opinion Survey here

Jul 2015

Caries Epidemiology: You Can't Manage What You Don't Measure

International dental experts have backed the aims of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF) in calling for a new pan-European approach to the recording, classification and management of caries. The experts acknowledged that current epidemiological systems fail to consistently assess the caries situation across Europe and that an improved approach will be needed, if we are to understand the true caries prevalence, distribution and inequalities across Europe. This cognition will help in developing and monitoring more efficient measures to prevent cavities in order to achieve the ACFF’s goal of a cavity-free future for all children born in 2026 and thereafter.

Nearly 200 leading dental professionals, researchers and academics at this year’s conference of the European Organisation for Caries Research (ORCA) agreed on a set of draft resolutions to achieve this common goal, after attending an all-day pre-conference symposium shining a spotlight on caries epidemiology and surveillance, which was jointly organised by the Pan-European Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF Europe), ORCA, the European Association for Dental Public Health (EADPH) and the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe (PBOHE).

The resolutions given unanimous agreement include the following:

• To establish a common and consistent way of sampling, training and reporting National Surveys or Programmes, to allow more valid and up to date comparisons between countries to be made

• A caries reporting standards document should be produced

• An acknowledgement of the need for data differentiating early from advanced caries lesions (for example using ICDAS methodology)

• A commitment to increase the number of age groups sampled across the lifespan to obtain a fuller picture of caries from birth to old age.

Apr 2015

New WHO Sugar Guidelines: working towards stopping caries for a cavity-free future

European dental experts from the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF) have endorsed the new World Health Organization (WHO) sugar guidelines as an important step towards beating tooth decay. During a recent meeting in Rome, the ACFF Pan-European Chapter built on the WHO recommendations to reduce sugar consumption to below 10% of daily energy intake. The ACFF are calling for greater teaching and awareness within the professional caries curriculum of the need to provide public advice and communicate the fact that excess sugar consumption causes caries.

Professor Nigel Pitts, co-chair of the ACFF Pan-European Chapter and Director of the Dental Innovation and Translation Centre (ITC) at King’s College London Dental Institute, London, UK, said, “The new WHO sugar guidelines are a welcome step towards addressing the impact that excess dietary sugars are having on dental health. Our aim is to build on these landmark guidelines and equip dental health professionals with training and support to provide patients with practical advice.”

Professor Pitts outlined ACFF guidance at the meeting on how individuals can beat dental caries:

1. Think before you snack! Ask yourself “Am I consuming more than 50g of sugar per day?”

2. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day

3. Brush your teeth effectively to remove plaque – make sure you reach the tough spots at the back of your mouth and make sure you spend two minutes brushing each time

4. Value your teeth and change the way you think about them – imagine you can see and feel the damage being done to your teeth by constant exposure to sugar. We all spend time in front of the mirror looking after our skin and hair, so why wouldn’t you look after your teeth?

5. Act before it’s too late! - ask your dental team about your personal risk of tooth decay to learn about the ideal frequency of dental visits and additional measures to beat tooth decay



Nov 2014

Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future calls for significant shift in sugar intake

“Changing our dietary habits to reduce sugar intake is essential in preventing tooth decay and improving general health” – this is the message from the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF) Pan-European Chapter in order to address the significant public health issue of tooth decay across European states. The ACFF added that dental practitioners should work closely with individuals to help reduce their dietary sugar intake to help combat the problem, which would have additional benefits on their general health.

The ACFF was joined by experts from King’s College London’s Dental Institute and a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre at a meeting on 12 November to address the inequalities of tooth decay across Europe.





Sep 2014

50% of people in Europe are not smiling about the impact of tooth decay

Tooth decay is causing over a half of people in Europe to be embarrassed about their teeth, preventing them from smiling. Furthermore, 67 per cent reported suffering from toothache or severe discomfort as a result of tooth decay. These are the key findings of a new European public opinion survey which reveals the surprising impact of poor oral health at both a social and economic level.

The European Chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future commissioned the survey to understand how tooth decay is really affecting people’s lives. This survey is part of a series which will help experts to understand how public perceptions of their oral health are evolving over time and to get an idea of the potential social-economic impacts. Tooth decay (which is also known as dental caries) affects up to 80 per cent of the world’s population. The results from this survey also show that on average, 3 out of 5 European adults reported that they had a cavity (which is the end stage of caries) or filling – a consequence of the end stage of caries - yet only 14 per cent have had the early signs of caries diagnosed. This highlights and supports the ACFF’s call to provide better education about caries as caries can be controlled and potentially reversed if detected at an early stage. If left untreated it can progress to cavities which may require a filling or even a tooth extraction. Encouragingly, 60 per cent of survey respondents would like to understand more about caries through engagement with their dental team or an educational body.

Jun 2014

Central and Eastern European Chapter Declaration to Elevate New Way of Looking at Caries

Warsaw, June 25: Dentistry leaders from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia signed a regional declaration constituting the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future Central Eastern European Chapter in which the experts call for national collaborative action to challenge leaders and stakeholders in the community to learn the importance of caries as a disease continuum, recognize that cavities are preventable and caries is reversible in the early stages, and to develop comprehensive programs for prevention and management in the CEE region.

Individuals signing the declaration included dentistry experts from the 8 CEE countries, who formed the Experts’ Panel:


  • Professor Urszula Kaczmarek, Poland, Chair of the CEE ACFF Chapter
  • Dr Ruxandra Sfeatcu, Romania, Assistant Professor, ,,Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy
  • Dr Romana Koberova-Ivancakova, the Czech Republic, Associated Professor, Charles University in Prague
  • Dr Marta Alberth, Hungary, University of Debrecen
  • Professor Neda Markovska, Slovakia, University of Pavol Josef Safarik in Kosice
  • Dr Julija Narbutaitė, Lithuania, Associated Professor, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
  • Dr Egita Senakola, Latvia, Associate Professor, Riga Stradins Universi
  • Dr Jana Olak, Estonia, Assistant Professor, Tartu University Department of Stomatology

Prof. Urszula Kaczmarek, who has been appointed the Chair of the CEE ACFF Chapter, said: “Collaboration is essential for comprehensive prevention and management of caries around the world. We must commit to developing systems on a cross country, national and local level that encourage the public health and clinical communities to work together in addressing the disease. Together we can educate the public and challenge leaders in dentistry and public health to take action. Improvement in the condition of oral health calls for strengthening and continuation of more effective preventive strategies as well as increase of social awareness as far as the meaning of oral health. The latter can be done via motivating oral health promoting programs in accordance with the rule “think global – act local” – added professor Kaczmarek.

Mar 2014

European chapter: ACFF plans unprecedented survey of impact of dental caries on quality of life in Europe

Plans to build a unique picture of the burden of dental caries and its impact on the quality of life of people across Europe have been unveiled in the second meeting of the ACFF European Chapter’s Collaborative Council on March 17 in Brussels.

Dr Georgios Tsakos, University College London and President of the EADPH explains: “Although European countries have seen a marked improvement in levels of dental caries over the last 30 years, dental caries still remains a significant burden in many segments of the population. By really getting to grips with the range of attitudes and understanding of the impact of caries across Europe, we can share best practice across the dental community and identify how best we can help future generations to stay cavity-free.”

Highlighting the importance of tackling dental caries on a global health basis, Dr Julian Fisher, International Health Consultant advised: “The new draft guidelines on sugars intake for adults and children proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will make global recommendations on the consumption of sugar, to a large part based on dental caries (tooth decay) research. This is a part of a concerted effort by WHO and governments to reduce the risk of some of the most common health problems affecting adults and children today, with a particular focus on the prevention and control of weight gain and tooth decay. This tells us that dental decay research is a critical part of global health policy-making and policymakers are starting to view the impact of dental caries in terms of population health outcomes."

Dec 2013

Greece to launch the first local ACFF chapter in Europe

The Hellenic Chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future was launched in December 2013, aiming at taking initiatives and action in order to contribute to the decrease of caries in our country. The Hellenic Chapter of ACFF has partnered with the Greek Dental Association, the Hellenic Society of Paediatric Dentistry and other representatives of the dental community.

The Executive Board of the Hellenic Chapter of ACFF consists of:

• C. Oulis (Coordinator), Professor of Paediatric Dentistry, Dental School University of Athens – Scientific Coordinator of the GDA Program “Improvement and Monitoring of the Oral Health of the Greek Population” and member of the GDA board

• C. Kounari, Associate Professor of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Dental School University of Athens

• Α. Vierrou, Paedodontist, President of the Hellenic Society of Paediatric Dentistry

In the frame of implementing practices for the improvement of oral health in Greece, ACFF is developing and implementing actions both at the level of proposals for the improvement of the policies on oral care, as well as at the level of the education of population on caries prevention.

Towards this direction, Prof. Oulis, announced the development and implementation of an “Experiential Learning” educational program on oral health for kindergarten children. This program will be initiated in September 2014, and it’s the first time that such an action at such a degree is implemented for kindergarten children in the country.

In Greece, 42,8% of 5-year old children have decayed or filled teeth, whereas 71% of 15-year old adolescents have caries experience with about 2 filled teeth.

Only 16,8% of the population believes that they know how to prevent caries, whereas the vast majority (83,2%) either to not know at all or has inadequate knowledge on caries prevention.

62,8% of Greeks believes that caries requires the drilling and filling of the diseased tooth, not knowing that at the initial stages invasive methods like fillings are not necessary.

Nov 2013

European chapter: First Collaborative Council meeting

The European Chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future, launched in July 2013, recently held its first Collaborative Council meeting in Frankfurt, to discuss and agree initial activities that will support the implementation of key changes to dental health practices across Europe.

The European Chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future agreed that they would be collaborating with the European Organisation for Caries Research (ORCA) and the European Association for Dental Public Health (EADPH), bringing together areas of required expertise, to highlight the need for updated and relevant epidemiological data on caries. The Alliance will soon also become an affiliate member of the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe (PBOHE), working with them on caries epidemiology.

At the meeting, the Collaborative Council also discussed ways in which they can assist with the roll-out of the European Core Curriculum in Cariology. “It is important for dental schools across Europe to adopt the philosophy of caries as a continuum and to start implementing parts of the curriculum where they can, so we can together improve prevention and management of dental caries across Europe,” stated Prof Andreas Schulte, Vice-Director of the Department of Conservative Dentistry, Heidelberg University Dental School, Germany, and lead author of the European Core Curriculum in Cariology.

Sep 2013

Alliance has been granted charitable status

The co-chairs of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future are delighted to announce that the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future has been granted charitable status by the UK Charity authorities. The Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future is a group of worldwide leading dental experts who have joined forces to promote initiatives which stop the development and progression of tooth decay in order to move towards a Cavity-Free Future for everyone. It is co-chaired by Professor Nigel Pitts, Director of the Dental Innovation and Translation Centre (ITC) at King’s College London Dental Institute, London, UK, and Professor Svante Twetman, Professor of Cariology at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. “This will help us strengthen our efforts to help implement changes to dental health practices across the globe and positively influence people’s dental health habits to ensure a Cavity-Free Future”, emphasizes Professor Nigel Pitts.
Jul 2013

European Alliance Launch

On July 22, 2013, the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future announced the launch of a new European Chapter, to bring together experts in dentistry and public health to create a collaborative focus for the implementation of key changes in dental health practices across Europe. The launch of the European Chapter is the sixth chapter of the global Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future, which began in September 2010.

The European Chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future is chaired by Professor Nigel Pitts, Director of the Dental Innovation and Translation Centre (ITC) at King’s College London Dental Institute, London, UK, and Professor Svante Twetman, Professor of Cariology at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Professors Pitts and Twetman were joined by Professors Andreas Schulte, Klaus Pieper and Kenneth Eaton at a meeting in London to define the goals of the new European Chapter and sign a statement of intent, pledging their commitment to improving dental health practices across Europe.

In Europe, tooth decay remains a major problem, especially in Eastern Europe and in socio-economically deprived groups. 1 Many Europeans still do not follow recommended oral hygiene practices, such as using fluoride-containing toothpaste, mouthwashes, inter-dental cleaning and getting regular dental check-ups.

Different countries across Europe will be joining the European Chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future by implementing local specific initiatives throughout 2013 and 2014.




For further information about dental caries, please visit EU_Chapter_Caries_Fact Sheet.pdf.

For more information about the Alliance, please visit www.AllianceForACavityFreeFuture.org

References
1. Facts and Figures – The State of Oral health in Europe (2012). Available at http://www.oralhealthplatform.eu/sites/default/files/field/document/Factsheet_oral health in Europe_2012_0.pdf [Last accessed June 2013]