TO promote oral hygiene in the country, Pepsodent, a brand of toothpaste from the stable of Unilever Nigeria, and the Nigerian Dental Association (NDA) have emphasised the need for parents and their children to adopt good oral care habits.
This was the message at this year’s World Oral Health Day celebration, organised by Pepsodent and the NDA.
Explaining why Pepsodent has been consistent in raising global awareness on oral care, Corporate Affairs and Sustainable Business Director, Unilever Nigeria and Ghana, Soromidayo George, said the toothpaste brand was promoting the benefits of good oral hygiene because there is a 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,” George said.
Also speaking at the event, Dr. Evelyn Eshikena, president of NDA, said: “The theme for this year 2019 celebration: ‘Say Ahh!….Act On Mouth Health,’ motivates children, adults and the government to take tangible action towards oral health. She stressed that 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 said. “We need to encourage children to brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and help them avoid foods and drinks high in sugars. We also need to prioritise regular dental checkups. The Nigerian Dental Association is grateful and appreciates Unilever Nigeria for their commitment and continuous support as Nigeria participates in the brush day and night project towards the actualisation of optimum oral health for all Nigerians,” she said
Category Manager (oral care), Unilever Nigeria, Toluwaleke Salu, spoke on roles children can play in promoting oral care messages, noting that 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 Programme, a 21-day behavioural change campaign that encourages brushing, day and night and transfer of this message to their parents and friends,” Salu said.
Commending Unilever Nigeria for its oral care awareness efforts, Dr. Bola Alonge, head dentistry division, Federal Ministry of Health, urged children and parents to prioritise regular brushing to ensure general health. Dr Alonge said, “The Federal Ministry of Health is proud to associate with Unilever Nigeria, 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.”
More than 2,000 school children joined the Unilever Nigeria team, owners of the Pepsodent brand, government officials, and health institutions at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos to observe the significant day set aside to raise global awareness about oral hygiene and demonstrate the importance of optimal oral health in maintaining general health and well-being.