Tooth Decay and Extreme Poverty

Dental_blog.pngAs part of the Spring Into Action campaign running from April 16 – May 1, we will be posting daily about topics related to extreme poverty and how anyone and everyone can join the movement to end it.

At one point, I’m sure we’ve all dreaded the day when we see that we have a dentist appointment on the calendar. But what if we didn’t have a dentist to go to? Think about it.


According to the FDI World Dental Federation, 30% of people worldwide aged 65-74 have lost all their natural teeth. The Federation also states that oral diseases are among the most common diseases of humankind, yet they receive little attention in many countries with weak healthcare systems. Despite a high social and economic burden from oral diseases, they are considered a neglected area of international health.

Children living in extreme poverty often lack good nutrition and are malnourished and oral health has a close relationship with general health. In Bolivia, 95% of children have cavities. For these reasons, CHOICE Bolivia has partnered with NoDK, a system that replaces the standard drill and fill with a combination of silver and fluoride. The silver kills the bacteria and the fluoride hardens what’s left. Silver has been used safely and effectively to treat tooth decay for more than 100 years.

Parents do not have money to pay for extensive dental work and children are scared of going to dentists. But for people living in extreme poverty, receiving dental care that can be expensive is not even an option. Locally trained individuals deliver the treatment in community settings without the high costs of traditional dental office equipment.

With one more stress removed, families are able to focus on other aspects that can move them out of extreme poverty.

Join our movement to End Extreme Poverty by posting a smiling selfie showing your teeth. Be sure to tag #ChoiceHumanitarian

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