Colgate’s Oral Health Month 2015 works towards a cavity-free future in 2020
Teeth are some of the most underappreciated parts of our body even though they directly contribute to keeping us alive by breaking down food for digestion. With how much Malaysians love food, greater oral health awareness is needed to help prevent painful cavities and expensive dentalwork, as well as keeping teeth sparkly white.
For that reason, Colgate-Palmolive Malaysia, the Malaysian Dental Association (MDA), the Alliance for a Cavity Free Future (ACFF) and the Malaysian Ministry of Health Oral Healthcare Division marked Colgate’s 12th consecutive year of Oral Health Month with a joint crusade against dental cavities.
The new theme for the month is ‘Fight Sugar, Fight Cavities’, which is particularly relevant in the country with Malaysia’s notoriously high-sugar diet. A 2005 survey conducted by the Ministry of Health revealed that the average Malaysian consumes nearly 26 teaspoons of sugar daily, well beyond the recommended intake of six teaspoons for women and nine teaspoons for men.
Sugar and its effects on oral health are increasingly coming under scrutiny on the world stage as well, and the 2020 cavity-free mission aligns with the global agenda outlined by the FDI World Dental Federation as well as the Ministry of Health’s National Oral Health Plan 2011-2020.
(From L-R) Dr. Teh Tat Beng, President of Malaysian Dental Association; Yang Berbahagia Dr. Khairiyah Binti Abdul Muttalib, Principal Director of Oral Health Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia; Professor Dr. Rahimah Kadir, Chairman of Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future; and Peter Torrington, General Manager of Colgate-Palmolive Malaysia at the launching of Colgate Oral Health Month 2015.
“Tackling dental caries is one of the National Oral Health Plan’s most critical agendas and we are grateful for the collaborative spirit shown by Colgate, the MDA, and the ACFF to band together to fight this epidemic,” said Yang Berbahagia Dr. Khairiyah binti Abdul Muttalib, Principal Director of Oral Health Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia.
Some of the key strategies outlined in the plan include reducing sugar consumption and advocating low sugar productions, and key goals include attaining 50% of six-year-old children having caries-free dentition.
Dental cavities is the number one most preventable disease in the world, yet is frequently neglected due to people taking oral health for granted. The Ministry of Health Malaysia has found that about eight out of 10 Malaysian adults have had dental caries, whereas studies in 2005 and 2007 revealed that eight out of 10 five-year olds and seven out of 10 six-year-olds respectively were suffering from it as well.
Throughout the month of April, Colgate’s Oral Health Month will primarily intensify efforts to spread awareness about dental caries and preventive oral healthcare habits, as well as increasing accessibility to good dental services by way of free dental checkups with 784 participating clinics. No fewer than 12 shopping mall locations will also support this endeavour with check-up marquees.
Oral care detailers from Colgate provide a live demonstration of how Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection with unique Sugar Acid Neutralizer™ fight sugar acids in plaque – the #1 cause of cavities.
Additionally, Colgate aims to start young by providing oral care education and over 500,000 free product samples of Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection plus Sugar Acid Neutralizer toothpaste to Primary One schoolchildren in government schools through its Bright Smiles Bright Future programme.
The toothpaste uses breakthrough cavity protection technology developed by Colgate and is reputedly the first in the world to directly fight sugar acids in plaque, which is the leading cause of cavities.
“This fight against dental cavities must also include an intentional change in our eating lifestyle and oral hygiene habits,” said Dr. Teh Tat Beng, President of the Malaysian Dental Association.
“We have to view dental caries as a lifestyle disease. For as long as unhealthy habits remain unchanged, the caries epidemic will be sustained.”
Malaysians are urged to start taking simple preventive measures by reducing the intake of sugary foods and drinks, brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride and sugar acid neutraliser twice a day, and visiting their dentist regularly.
For more information, visit www.colgate.com.my/ohm to keep up with the nationwide roadshows and activities.