#SmilePilipinas: Working Together For Your Child's Oral Health Care

Parents play an important role in maintaining the overall heath of their child, including oral health. Sadly, not all parents are equipped  with the knowledge and tools to ensure that their kids will remain cavity free.

There are parents who admittedly avoid going to the dentists. It's either they think that the consultation will cause an arm and a leg, or they are afraid of dentists themselves. Some just don't take oral care as a priority and with all the demands of running a household, dentist visits just get forgotten or ignored.

Filipinos are a smiling lot. We always find reasons to smile, even on the worst situations. Wouldn't it be lovely if that smile will reveal sparkly white teeth? How many times have you seen pre-schoolers with black teeth (not from chocolate stains, unfortunately)? Or grandparents showing their toothless smiles?

Fact: 9 out of 10 Filipinos suffer from dental carries. It's not surprising since according to research, 7 out of 10 Filipinos had never been to a dentist*. Those are big, alarming numbers that can easily be managed if we all work on it.

Good news is, the UP Dental Alumni Association (UPDAA) in partnership with global oral care brand Oral-B had been working on a program that aims to bring back the healthy smiles of Filipinos. The program, called Smile Pilipinas was launched in time for the 100th year of the UP College of Dentistry. It aims to uplift the deteriorating state of oral health in the country through an extensive campaign that enjoins the support of each and every Filipino.
photo edit from smilepilipinas.com
“We cannot let this happen to our citizens and our children,”  According to UPDAA President Dr. Jocelyn L. Tan of the UPCD. “We need to do something but we, the oral care professionals, cannot do it alone. We need the support and cooperation of everyone – the parents, the educators and ordinary citizens. And that’s the reason we launched Smile Pilipinas.”

Smile Pilipinas was launched during the centennial celebration of UP College of Dentistry (UPCD) and spearheaded by UPDAA, with strong support from Oral-B. “When the opportunity to be a key partner for Smile Pilipinas was offered to us, we knew we had to be a part of it.This is a great opportunity for Oral-B to do something concrete about improving the quality of oral health in the Philippines, kick-starting a movement that will involve both the professional body as well as regular consumers.’ said Suranjan Magesvaran, Procter & Gamble Vice President, Home Products, Power and Oral Care, Asia. (Quick Fact: Oral-B is OralBrush. Because you take care of your oral healt including tounge, gums, etc. and not just you teeth)

The unveiling of the logos of UPCD's Centennial Celebration and #SmilePilipinas

One of the firsts initiatives of the Smile Pilipinas program is the Unang Ngipin Patibayin, organized in partnership with Pateros and Pasig to provide oral health education and preventive measures for children and parents. The recently concluded SuperSmileCon2015, on the other hand, is an oral wellness fair for kids with free dental consultations, dental varnish application, games, stage shows, and dental health education.

Iza Calzado, top actress and Oral-B brand ambassador, is also lending a hand on this campaign. She is likewise concerned about our country's deteriorating oral health condition and is calling for action. “Let’s not take this important aspect of our health for granted. As our oral health professionals have repeatedly said, oral health is a vital part of over-all health. It’s part of our personality, our heritage as a Filipino. Let’s maintain the warmth and beauty of our smiles by learning how to care for our mouth, gums and teeth.”

Iza Calzado taling about the importance of oral health care. 
Smile Pilipinas has Five Fundamental Messages:

1) Our smiles are fundamental to our identity
     - A big, happy smile brightens up any face. You want to greet people with a healthy confident smile!
2) Let’s bring oral health within reach of all Filipinos
     - Some barrios are yet to be introduced to toothbrush and fluoride-rich toothpaste.
3) Everyone can easily help improve oral health in the country
     - School kids can be provide better facilities and tools needed for better oral hygiene with only about P35 per year.
4) We need to take care of our children’s teeth
     - As early as the first tooth (around 6 months), fluoride varnish can be administered to protect those young tooth and help avoid cavities.
5) We should all practice better oral health care habits.
     - Kids mirror their parents. We can make regular brushing and dental visit a chance to bond with your kids.
A slide form the #SmilePilipinas presentation. Isn't this so true?
Most kids get to visit the dentist only when they are already feeling pain due to decayed teeth. That's why dentists gets associated with pain that leads to fear. As this kid grows up, dental care gets forgotten and that fear gets passed on to his children and the cycle continues. Let's stop this cycle. As parents, let's start with our own family. Start early with our kids and make sure we promote healthy oral hygiene and make it a habit. 

*P&G Calculation based on Nielsen sales information from July 2012 to June 2013

About Procter & Gamble
Three billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Pringles®, Folgers®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Actonel®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, and Braun®.  The P&G community consists of over 135,000 employees working in over 80 countries worldwide.  Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands

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