Smiling all over the world

Throughout October and November 2010, Oral-B will be donating money from every
manual toothbrush (Cross Action Complete and Complete Clean) sold in UK retail outlets to the dental charity, Dentaid.

Monies raised will be used for specific oral health project in Bangladesh.

As an oral care expert, Oral-B wants to improve dental care around the world by working with Dentaid to help meet the charity’s vision of bringing about a better oral health future for hundreds of millions of people across the globe.

Conceived to provide much needed financial and technical aid to a developing country, the combination of Oral-B and the UK-based – but internationally recognised – charity Dentaid is set to provide life-changing treatments in Bangladesh, where over 60% of the population live in poverty, 93% have gingivitis, 85% have periodontitis and unsurprisingly, 46% have rampant caries.

Why now?
Given that optimum oral health is a goal that has yet to be achieved in so many countries of the world, why has Oral-B chosen this particular time to launch this initiative?

Primarily, the project is seen as a starting point. Of course, there are many calls on charities and for donations, and similarly there are many places which could benefit, but to make a start is seen as a very positive contribution.

Just as Dentaid began as a small initiative by one dentist in the 1990s, it is also hoped that this project will lead to bigger programmes and, most importantly, to sustainable interventions for better oral health.

Money from the sale of the toothbrushes throughout the two-month period, will go towards a mixture of dental equipment, training, education and infrastructure to be self sustainable without further intervention.

The programme will begin with a mass oral health awareness campaign involving school teachers, community leaders, religious leaders and female health workers.

Portable equipment will then be set up by trained nurses, clinical students and doctors offering urgent treatment such as the control of pain and infection as well as restorative therapy.

Permanent dental clinics will also be set up to continuously monitor and provide dental treatment to communities on an ongoing basis.

Targeted finance and care

For each Cross Action Complete or a Complete Clean manual toothbrush bought, Oral-B will make a donation to Dentaid. The amount donated will be uncapped, so, the more successful the campaign, the more money is raised.

Oral-B has guaranteed a minimum donation which will provide at least two dental surgeries and two portable dental kits, training and the education programme detailed above.

Furthermore, the project in Bangladesh benefits from having the right infrastructure and resources on the ground to ensure success. The Sapporo Dental Institute, a partner within the country, will ensure the activities happen and that aid and education reaches those who need it most.

Dentaid’s reputation is also robust nationally and internationally with projects in the UK as well as in many other countries.

Public understanding of oral health and of the consequences of poor oral health is often limited. While we, as professionals, may appreciate the consequences of oral diseases, the general public are, understandably, less well informed.

This is therefore also seen as an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of better oral health in order to improve general health and consequent wellbeing, especially in a developing country.

Commenting on the campaign, Razi Hyder, who heads up the professional team in the UK, says: ‘This is an opportunity for us as an organisation to make a lasting difference. The sales of our leading manual toothbrush during this period will help fund Dentaid’s vital work in disadvantaged communities.

‘We are confident that the public will get behind this fundraising challenge, and alongside our advertising and PR campaign, we will raise awareness of this preventable disease and support a variety of interventions including treatments, surgeries, portable treatment kits as well as training and education at grass roots’.

To get involved and spread the word, log onto www.oralb.com/dentaid where there are also details of a donation page and further information on the World Wide Smiles campaign.

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