With available data showing that almost 100 per cent of adults globally suffering from dental cavities and 60-90 per cent of school children having cavities, Pepsodent toothpaste has kicked-off its 21 days behavioural change programme among pupils and students in the country.

Speaking at the launch of Pepsodent Oral Health Schools’ Programme in Lagos during the week, the Brand Building Director, Unilever Nigeria, David Okeme, said that the 21 days behavioural change campaign aims to prevent the causes of ill oral health that affect children’s ability to learn.

He said that it was part of Unilever’s global oral care social mission agenda to improve the oral health of 100 million people by 2020 through a programme aimed at convincing them to brush day and night to stay healthy and live a more fulfilled life.

According to him, “in partnership with the Nigerian Dental Association, Universal Basic Education Board and the Federal Ministry of Health, Pepsodent is committed to improving the oral health of 10 million children in Nigeria by 2020 through the Brush Day & Night schools’ programme, and one million school children will be reached directly in 2015.

“We believe kids can change the world by adopting healthy oral habits and they can convince their parents to do same,” he said.

Meanwhile, the President, Nigerian Dental Association, Dr. Bode Ijarogbe has explained that children were more vulnerable to dental cavities because they consume more of sweetened food. “Children are the ones that have flair for sugar-based products like sweets, cakes, chewing gum, candies, chocolates and even some of the syrups that are taken as medicine. But in this case, we refer to fermentable sugar, that is, sugar that can be acted upon by the bacterial in the mouth,” he said.

Dr. Ijarogbe added that everyone has bacteria in the mouth and other parts of the body normally, but as regards formation of cavity, the bacteria in the mouth only become very dangerous in the presence of fermentable sugar-based diet.

He said: “The sugar acts as diet for the bacteria and produces a by-product of dilute acid which eventually results in cavity formation, resulting in holes which gradually becomes larger and eventually into tooth ache.

“And if this is not quickly addressed, it results to severe pain which could lead to loss of manpower at work for adults and school absenteeism for the child. The kids are the major target in this programme because they have more cravings for sweet foods. And when these children adopt the habit of a healthy oral lifestyle, they can then spread the message to their parents.”

Dr. Ijarogbe therefore, urged the public to brush twice daily to reduce the incidence of cavities.

“We often advise that when people brush, they should brush twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste. NDA wants to be sure that when people brush, they brush with fluoridated toothpaste. As such, we have subjected Pepsodent toothpaste to test before we endorsed it. And we are rest assured that it contains fluoride. Flouride is an active ingredient in toothpaste that helps to prevent tooth decay,” he said.

Speaking on the value proposition of Pepsodent toothpaste, the Category Manager, Oral Care, Unilever Nigeria, Bunmi Adeniba, said that the Pepsodent Tripple Protection was one big breakthrough formulation that gives three benefits.

“Pepsodent gives you three benefits in one brush. The unique formulation of Pepsodent Triple Protection guarantees protection against cavities, stains and bad breath and these are the most prevalent oral care needs in most homes,” she said.

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