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ADA, Colgate team up for Oral Health Month

May 16, 2016

By Kimber Solana

In an effort to encourage lifetimes and generations of healthy smiles in Hispanic communities, the ADA is teaming up with Colgate this June to celebrate Oral Health Month: Share More Time, Share More Smiles, an annual campaign to educate Hispanic families about the importance of proper oral care.

This year, the campaign will also encourage the public, including ADA members, to share photos on social media to benefit the ADA Foundation's Give Kids A Smile program.

The campaign's theme, "Lead By Example," speaks to parents, especially moms, who can influence the health and wellness of their families. The campaign will communicate that an effective way to teach children good oral care habits is for parents to practice them themselves.

"Good habits — like brushing for two minutes, twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and visiting a dentist regularly — helps keep smiles healthy," said ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays. "Leading by example is one of the best ways to teach these healthy habits."

Goals of the campaign include educating the public, empowering them to develop healthy habits and encouraging them to visit their dentist regularly.

"Colgate is thrilled to be collaborating for the first time with the American Dental Association this year to improve oral health outcomes among U.S. Hispanics," said Carla Kelly, general manager of U.S. multicultural marketing for Colgate-Palmolive. "This campaign speaks directly to Hispanic parents and their desire to care for their families. We want to encourage them to begin and maintain proper daily oral care routines as a family."

Hispanics are anticipated to experience the most growth among multicultural consumer group in the U.S., estimated to account for over half of the country's total population growth by 2020, according to Ms. Kelly.

"About a quarter of all Hispanics are millennials — truly the future of America's Hispanic community," she said. "When Share More Time, Share More Smiles' messages reaches them, we're confident that they will pass along the knowledge to both their parents and children. That way, the Oral Health Month message can reach multiple generations."

To get the word out, the campaign for Oral Health Month, which Colgate began in 2012, includes a newspaper insert featuring spokeswoman and "Despierta America" host Karla Martinez that is set to reach 3.6 million people. Other plans include promotion through MouthHealthy.org, ADA member publications and social media, as well as Colgate's channels.

ADA members and the public can also help the campaign while benefitting Give Kids A Smile. Members can share photos of themselves or their family practicing oral hygiene using the hashtag #TimetoSmile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google during Oral Health Month. As part of the campaign, Colgate will donate $1 to the ADA Foundation's Give Kids A Smile program every time someone shares a photo. Colgate has committed to a minimum donation of $10,000 and a maximum donation of $40,000.

"This campaign exemplifies Colgate's ongoing commitment to the ADA Foundation and Give Kids A Smile," said Dr. Reneida Reyes, ADA Foundation president. "The funds raised will help us ensure that even more children in underserved communities receive the oral health services they need."

Dr. Reyes, a pediatric dentist in Brooklyn, New York, has been active for many years in educating Hispanic families, and many others, in her own community. "The family is the key to success in the Hispanic community," she said, "and I am very excited to see this effort devoted to those families."

Dr. Summerhays also thanks Colgate for their work on the initiative to help consumers.

"We're excited about Oral Health Month to focus on the importance of prevention and the impact of good oral health on overall health," she said.