As part of Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures programme, the Dis-Chem Foundation and Colgate-Palmolive South Africa has come together to run an initiative called “Buy A Brush, Help A Child”.
The initiative will donate a toothbrush, toothpaste and give disadvantaged children access to oral care education, for every toothbrush bought at a participating Dis-Chem pharmacy in the country.
Bright Smiles, Bright Futures is a global programme that was launched in 1991. It has reached more than 900 million children and their families across 80 countries with free dental screenings and oral health education.1 It was launched in South Africa in 1996 and has since reached millions of children across the country. The aim is to educate children and instill good oral care habits while they are still young.
“Dental cavities are the most prevalent childhood condition in our country,” says Colgate Oral Care Professional, Dr Stephanus Crous. “We are faced with an overwhelming burden of treatment that is needed for oral care conditions. Colgate assists our country’s healthcare system to promote good oral hygiene through programmes like the Bright Smiles, Bright Future and the Buy a Brush, Help a Child CSI initiative, by providing oral health education, free toothbrushes and toothpastes to children in grades R-3.”
As part of the Buy a Brush, Help a Child initiative, when children receive their toothbrush and toothpaste, they are taught the importance of practicing good oral hygiene, how to brush their teeth correctly and which foods to eat for healthy teeth and gums. In addition, each child takes a brochure with this information home to their parents, and their teachers receive an educational poster for the classroom.
The initiative makes it easy for members of the public to make a difference through one simple action – especially given that it is important to replace your toothbrush on a regular basis
According to Colgate Oral Care Professional, Dr Sam Naidoo, “you should change your toothbrush approximately every three months, as the bristles gradually wear down and then become less effective in removing plaque. Germs can also build up on the brush over time, which may lead to oral care problems. It is also a good idea to change your toothbrush after an illness, to prevent possible reinfection.”