Oral care advocate, Pepsodent and the Nigerian Dental Association (NDA) have initiated dental outreaches in Lagos schools and markets and a dedicated, toll-free oral care support system- Call A Dentist to commemorate 2019 World Oral Health Day.
The programmes are key components of the Pepsodent oral care mission in partnership with NDA, World Dental Federation, FDI, Federal and State Ministries of Health.
‘Call A Dentist’ enables citizens to talk to a dentist free of charges on oral health issues through a dedicated line – 08073776338. The programme runs till March 31.
The school and market outreaches are aimed at getting children and adults to appreciate and understand the importance of oral hygiene.
Also, 2,000 school children joined the Unilever Nigeria team, owners of the Pepsodent brand, celebrity, Adunni Ade, government officials, and health institutions at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos to observe the significant day set aside to raise global awareness and demonstrate the importance of optimal oral health in maintaining general health and well-being.
Commenting on Pepsodent’s contributions to global awareness on oral care, Corporate Affairs and Sustainable Business Director, Unilever Nigeria and Ghana, Soromidayo George said: “As the official global partner of the World Oral Health Day, Pepsodent has been consistent in raising awareness about the benefits of good oral hygiene and the prevalence of tooth decay (a disease that is preventable), not only in Nigeria, but globally.
“We are committed to helping children and adults manage their oral hygiene to forestall absence from school, work and socialising. We have communicated this effectively in the days leading to the World Oral Health Day. We will forge ahead in this direction throughout the year.”
Speaking at the event, President, Nigerian Dental Association (NDA), Dr. Evelyn Eshikena stated, “The theme for this year 2019 celebrations: ‘Say Ahh!….Act On Mouth Health’, motivates all children, adults and the government to take tangible action towards oral health.Poor oral health can negatively affect a child’s confidence, social skills as well as potential for success later in life. Oral health is therefore, essential to a child’s general health and well-being.
Dr. Eshikena added, “We need to encourage children to brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and help them avoid foods and drinks high in sugars. We also need to prioritize regular dental checkups.The Nigerian Dental Association is grateful and appreciates Unilever Nigeria plc for their commitment and continuous support as Nigeria participates in the brush day and night project towards the actualization of optimum oral health for all Nigerians.”
Emphasizing the roles children play in promoting oral care messages, Category Manager (Oral Care), Unilever Nigeria, Toluwaleke Salu noted, “Children are change agents. They are naturally blessed with the potential to drive behavioural change among those close to them – their parents and peers. They are influential to the Pepsodent ‘Brush Day and Night’ Schools Program, a 21- day behavioural change campaign that encourages regular brushing, day and night and transfer of this message to their parents and friends.”
Whilst commending Unilever Nigeria for its oral care efforts, Head Dentistry Division, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Bola Alonge urged children and parents to prioritize regular brushing to ensure general health.
“The Federal Ministry of Health is proud to associate with Unilever Nigeria PLC, makers of Pepsodent fluoride toothpaste for sustaining efforts at making citizens appreciate oral hygiene. It is crucial to urge children and parents to give importance to regular brushing, twice a day – morning and before bedtime. Regular brushing forestalls oral diseases and ensures good health.”
Free dental outreaches to markets and schools across Lagos were equally facilitated by Pepsodent and the Nigerian Dental Association.
World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is celebrated globally every year on 20 March.