Sunday, February 8

UP Dental Alumni Association & Oral-B launch Smile Pilipinas


Smile Pilipinas aims to promote oral health to every Filipino

Smile Pilipinas aims to educate Filipinos of the importance of oral health through campaigns.

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.
UP College of Dentistry unveils the Centennial Wall of Donors

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.

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 on-board 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.  
Having proper oral health care is a good way to maintain overall general well being.

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.

Dean Vicente O. Medina III of Up College of Dentistry graciously answered questions from the media.

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.”

Actress Iza Calzado rendered a speech about the value of oral health and shared her oral hygiene practices.

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.” 

Dr. Jocelyn L. Tan explained the objectives of Smile Pilipinas.

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. “
 *P&G Calculation based on Nielsen sales information from July 2012 to June 2013

About Procter & Gamble
Three billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Pringles®, Folgers®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Actonel®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, and Braun®.  The P&G community consists of over 135,000 employees working in over 80 countries worldwide.  Please visit for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

NOTE: I managed to throw in some questions as part of the discussion and it was answered by Dean Medina and the rest of the panel. 

  1. What specific actions will Smile Pilipinas take to spread the awareness of oral health in a barangay level? Dean Medina explained that there are on going campaign on several barangays around the metro conducting seminars to public dental professionals, offering free oral cancer screening as well as propagating the importance of oral health.
  2. Is this a nationwide campaign? Yes, given the resources and proper funding and with the help of Procter and Gamble through Oral-B it aims to deliver oral awareness and good oral health to the rest of the country.
  3. What type of toothpaste is best to use? The answer was plain and simple "Use a toothpaste with the correct amount of fluoride".
  4. What is the correct amount and how will we (the public) know? "Look for a toothpaste that has 1,500 parts per million which should be indicated on the package".
  5. How about herbal toothpastes? "Any toothpaste without fluoride is useless since it is scientifically proven that fluoride protects our teeth."
  6. Any tips on proper brushing? "Brush your teeth for two minutes. It is recommended to have an application of fluoride varnish for children to prevent tooth decay and oral disease."
  7. How young a child should be to have a fluoride varnish treatment? "As soon as baby teeth appear as young as 6 months."
  8. Is it too late for an 8-year old kid to have fluoride varnish? "No, even adults can have this treatment."

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