Wednesday, March 29, 2017 3:36 pm
By Daniels Ekugo
On World Oral Health Day Pepsodent launches a new digital behaviour change programme to make daily toothbrushing a fun habit for the whole family Unilever’s toothpaste brand, Pepsodent celebrated World Oral Health Day recently, together with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Dental Association at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos to raise awareness of the importance of brushing teeth daily, morning and night with a fluoride toothpaste like Pepsodent to avoid dental decay.
Guests included schoolchildren, parents, caregivers and Unilever representatives, who all gathered to pledge their commitment to Brush Everyday, Day and Night.
“We know that building good brushing habits in children sets them up for better oral health in the future, which in turn leads to better overall health outcomes,” said Severine Vauleon, Global Vice President, Oral Care , Unilever. “The sustained dental health benefit for adults, from childhood toothbrushing intervention has been shown by the Tayside Study conducted by the UK NHS (2017) and subsequent follow-up of the same, now adult, participants. This landmark intervention programme studied the need to teach children about the importance of brushing day and night and found that those who were taught to brush day and night from a young age had 20% fewer treatments for cavities 20 years later. We realised that there was still yet more we could do to build good brushing habits with children from a young age.”
This is why Pepsodent is on a mission to reach 10 million Nigerian schoolchildren with face-to-face engagement, through its school oral health programmes by 2020, teaching when and how best to brush teeth for optimal oral health, today and later in life.
This year, for the first time, Pepsodent has introduced a mobile first approach to behaviour change. Little Brush, Big Brush is a 21-day behaviour change programme to help families with children build better tooth brushing habits through fun and play, delivered on people’s mobile phones through Facebook Messenger. Combining strong storytelling and cutting-edge AI technology, Little Brush Big Brush is an animated story, which comprises of 21 episodes featuring animal characters that help children develop good brushing habits for life. Pepsodent hopes that this innovation will allow them to reach even more families through this unique innovation.
“Children are powerful behaviour change advocates in their homes, often driving conversation and action with parents around issues like this. We’re confident that kids will love the stories and characters and this will drive their interest and excitement to brush day and night.”
It is estimated that more than 1 billion people do not use fluoride toothpaste, and over 3 billion do not brush their teeth twice a day. The result is dental decay affects nearly millions of adults and children. Furthermore, untreated tooth decay can have a serious and long-lasting effect on children’s growth, brain development and overall health. With many children consequently missing out on school and social opportunities, they can fail to reach their full potential in life.
This year, Pepsodent and the FDI are celebrating 10 years of partnership. In the latest phase of this partnership, successful activities have been implemented in local partnerships between Nigerian Dental Association. Pepsodent also partners with the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria on its oral health school program.
The theme of this year’s World Oral Health Day is “Live MOUTH SMART” and the President Nigerian Dental Association Dr. Bode Ijarogbe said, “We need to empower people to take control of their oral health – throughout life – so they can enjoy a healthy, functional mouth from childhood into old age. Maintaining optimal oral health into old age ensures you live not only a longer life, but also one free from the physical pain and often emotional suffering caused by oral disease.”
“It’s wonderful to see so many people from all walks of life coming together today to share the message of brushing day and night on World Oral Health Day,” said Dr Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister of State for Health, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented the Honourable Minister for Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria at the event. “In our country, we are facing serious oral health care concerns and the more people that learn to care for their mouths, the happier and healthier our communities will be.”
Children at the event took part in a mass pledge and smile formation promising to ‘Brush everyday, day and night’ as Pepsodent and its partners have taught them.