A program that aims to bring back the healthy smiles of Filipinos has been launched by the UP Dental Alumni Association (UPDAA) in partnership with global oral care brand Oral-B. The program, called Smile Pilipinas and launched in time for the 100th year of the UP College of Dentistry, 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.
According to UPDAA President Dr. Jocelyn L. Tan of the UPCD, the program was conceptualized in response to alarming results of a study that revealed 9 out of ten Filipinos suffer from dental caries and worse, the Philippines has the 2nd worst rate of decayed, missing and filled teeth in all of Asia. “We cannot let this happen to our citizens and our children,” added Dr. Tan. “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.”
The movement has found a strong supporter in Oral-B, the brand known worldwide for its commitment to promoting healthy smiles. “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.
|UPDAA President – Dr. Jocelyn Tan
and Ms. Iza Calzado -Oral-B Ambassador
During the launch which coincided with the centennial celebration of UP College of Dentistry (UPCD) and spearheaded by UPDAA, the three focus areas of the program were presented, namely, Advocacy, Public Good and Fund Raising.
Under communication, Smile Pilipinas will call upon Filipinos – inside and outside of the Philippines — to get onboard and help spread inspiration for better oral health. The program has five fundamental messages: 1) Our smiles are fundamental to our identity, 2) Let’s bring oral health within reach of all Filipinos, 3) Everyone can easily help improve oral health in the country, 4) We need to take care of our children’s teeth, and 5) We should all practice better oral health care habits.
Its Public Good initiatives include Unang Ngipin Patibayin and SuperSmileCon2015. Unang Ngipin Patibayin is a public health initiative organized in partnership with Pateros and Pasig to provide oral health education and preventive measures for children and parents. 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.
To sustain its activities, the program will be accepting public and corporate generosity of time, talent, treasure, through donations, sponsorships and sale of Smile Pilipinas merchandise sales via retail partners.
Top actress and Oral-B brand ambassador Iza Calzado, who graced the launch of Smile Pilipinas, likewise thanks both partners and echoed the concern over the country’s deteriorating oral health condition. “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.”
With the country’s top oral health professionals joined by the world’s leading oral care brand in launching the Smile Pilipinas, there may yet be hope for the state of oral health in the country. But, as Magesvaran stressed, there’s a lot of work to be done. “It’s very important that Filipinos across the country understand the importance of good oral health that leads to a beautiful, healthy smile. That’s why we enjoin everyone to support this project so it can attain its mission of “100% Healthy Smiles for every Filipino.”
Adds Dr. Tan: “Oral health cannot be seen as separate from our total health and hygiene. If we all work together, we can bring oral health within reach of all Filipinos. “