According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that oral disease affects at least 3.58 billion people worldwide. Research tells us that oral disease continues to disproportionately affect poor populations around the world. Oral health inequality is perpetuated by social determinants such as place of birth, place of work, education, income, home life, upbringing and age. In recognizing this, we’ve set out to raise the bar and help improve access to oral health care in parts of the world where it’s needed most.
But we knew we couldn’t do this alone. We chose to partner with A Reason to Smile, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing the spread of dental disease. Their programs deliver comprehensive clinical care and education to communities in Africa with little to no access to dental care.
We knew we wanted to be more than just a toothbrush company. Brushing your teeth twice a day is a routine many of us take for granted. ARTS opened our eyes to the prevalence and severity of oral disease among African communities in poverty, where people do not have access to dental professionals or even dental hygiene supplies. While ARTS delivers a range of clinical services, from cleanings to extractions, they are equally focused on providing education around oral hygiene protocol and infection control.
When we approached ARTS wondering how we could join forces, the consensus was around prevention. A huge part of their programming is providing communities with basic oral hygiene supplies - toothbrush, toothpaste, floss - and being a toothbrush company, we knew that was something we could most definitely deliver on. That’s why we committed to donating a toothbrush, toothpaste and fluoride treatment for every brush head refill we ship.
On average, there’s 1 dentist for every 150,000 people in Africa. In developed countries, the average ratio is 1 to 2,000. While African populations have higher rates of dental treatment needs, their access to oral health care services is among the poorest. Better access to adequate oral health care is a must in order to improve health outcomes as a whole.
Thanks to organizations like ARTS, the needle is moving, but there’s still work to be done. We are honored to be an ARTS partner and humbled by the opportunity to contribute in such a meaningful way.