For 25 years, the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® (BSBF) global oral health programme has been raising global awareness about cavity prevention, by reaching and meeting children growing up in underserved communities around the world. The BSBF programme provides oral health education through videos, children’s activities, classroom kits, dental care material for teachers, free dental screenings, toothpaste and toothbrushes, all helping to create healthy smiles and growing minds.
There is a proven connection between poor dental health and low educational achievement; in some cases, children with poor oral health are nearly three times more likely to miss school than their peers, due to dental pain¹.
Despite being highly preventable, tooth decay remains the most common chronic childhood disease affecting millions of children around the world who lack access to basic dental care and proper education. The impact can be devastating for children from low-income, minority and rural communities, who suffer disproportionally from issues with dental health and access.
To help reach more children with oral health education, Colgate launched BSBF in 1991, reaching 25,000 school students in its first year. Today, the programme has reached more than 850 million children in over 80 countries.
During the annual FDI World Dental Congress in Poznań, Poland, BSBF marked the quarter century by welcoming more than 300 school children from the Poznań region, to show them how to build healthy habits for a lifetime and minimize the risk of cavities.
“Educating children about proper oral hygiene habits is at the heart of the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures programme; what many people don’t realize is that tooth decay is five times more prevalent than other chronic diseases that affect children, like asthma,” said Marsha Butler, Vice President of Global Oral Health and Professional Relations and BSBF Global Program Lead. “We are thrilled to be celebrating the programme’s 25th anniversary as we constantly strive to continue expanding the reach of this initiative.”
¹Health on Children’s School Attendance and Performance. Am J Public Health 2011; 101(10): 1900-1906. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222359/)