Toilet Poverty

How Does Oral Health Relate to Poverty, Dental Care in Particular?

Oral health is often a key indicator of overall health, so when someone is too poor to afford dental care, their overall health often suffers. There is a distinct connection between oral health and poverty, dental care being just one indicator of poverty. The World Health Organization estimates that oral diseases affect nearly 3.5 billion people worldwide.[1] Since oral health treatment can be expensive, most impoverished people are unable to obtain adequate care.

Mayo Clinic reports on the importance of oral health care: “Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.”[2]

For many kids and adults in impoverished areas such as Africa and Asia, a toothbrush and toothpaste are a luxury. This lack results in tooth decay and oral diseases that make kids sick enough that they miss school.[3][4] When children see a dentist and get the help they need, they can find relief from the pain of dental issues and return to school.

Through GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program, children learn basic hygiene and the importance of oral health. They are provided with hygiene supplies like toothbrushes and toothpaste and they receive instruction on how to use the supplies effectively. Many of these children have never received such training before.

For just $35 a month, you can sponsor a child and help provide him or her with the necessities of life—including hygiene items like toothbrushes and toothpaste. Your sponsored child will also receive vital help such as tuition assistance, school supplies, medical care, nutritious food, access to clean water, recreational activities, sanitation facilities, community service opportunities and more. Through this help, your sponsored child and their family will feel loved, wanted and have hope for a better future. They will also have opportunity to experience God’s love firsthand.

Would you reach into Africa or Asia and be a helping hand for a child in need? It may be as simple as a toothbrush and some toothpaste, but it makes a world of difference to a child in poverty.

Learn more about how poverty impacts hygiene, especially toilet poverty

[1] “Oral Health.” World Health Organization. March 15, 2022.
[2] “Oral Health: A window to your overall health.” Mayo Clinic. Accessed October 28, 2022.
[3] “Dental Care in Africa: Challenges and Solutions.” Dateline Health Africa. Accessed October 28, 2022.
[4] “Oral Health Inequalities & Health Systems in Asia-Pacific.” Nature India. Accessed October 28, 2022.