As the inaugural Sustainable Development Goals Week Ireland draws to a close we would like to reflect on our work on oral health and how it fits into the SDG's.
The Dental Health Foundation (DHF) is the only National charitable trust in Ireland whose remit is to promote optimum oral health for all citizens through the life course. For over 40 years, the DHF has actively engaged in supporting Government policy, advisory bodies and partnerships with community and educational groups in Ireland. The Strategic objectives of the DHF are as follows:
1. Support to the Department of Health
2. Promoting Excellence by ensuring the effective dissemination of evidence‐based information
3. Empowering People to improve their health and wellbeing through oral health promotion.
4. Advocacy and Communications – by participating in all relevant for policy and advisory bodies and ensuring that oral health promotion remains on the National agenda.
SDG 3 - Good Health and Wellbeing
We ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages. We develop oral health resources with key oral health messages and make these available for free.
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
We work to reduce inequality within and among communities such as in our partnership work with the Sheds for Life Programme.
SDG 13 - Climate Action
We take action to combat climate change and its impacts through disease prevention, oral health promotion and supporting community water fluoridation (CWF). CWF is a public health measure where fluoride is added to drinking water at an optimal level, to help prevent tooth decay, and therefore ensuring good health and wellbeing for all. CWF is the most sustainable oral health prevention intervention and researchers have demonstrated its low environmental footprint compared to other preventive measures for tooth decay.
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
We strengthen the means of implementation through collaborative work including with Diabetes Ireland, Special Olympics Ireland, Alcohol Action Ireland and Alcohol Health Alliance, Health Service Executive, Cleft Team - Children's Hospital Ireland, Oral Health Promotion Research Group Ireland, and Partners of Mouth Cancer Awareness Day.
Our Mission of 'Optimal Oral Health for All' ensures that we strive to actively drive change and make a positive impact on oral health for future generations to come.