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Build Sustainable Habits for Life: Bright Smiles Bright Future

The goal

Elevating oral health to educate and promote positive habits to over 2 billion children and their families, and advocating the end of most prevalent chronic diseases on the planet among children in UP, Bihar.

The means

Since the inception of the program in 1976, the Company has been delivering oral health education to children by reaching out to influencers – like school teachers and the anganwadi workers in the community to promote preventive oral care education. Children between the age group of 6 to 14 years studying in primary schools are taught good oral hygiene habits, the right techniques of brushing with the use of a tooth model and a toothbrush, and the importance of brushing at night through an interactive module, where the importance of a good mouth cleaning regimen is strongly instilled in them. At the end of the program, each child is given a ‘Dental Health Pack’ consisting of a toothpaste and a toothbrush, along with attractive charts depicting valuable oral care information in order to encourage these children to brush twice a day and take care of their oral care hygiene.


The finer details

One of the most impactful oral health initiatives by Colgate is Bright Smiles, Bright Futures™ (BSBF). A flagship initiative by the Company, it was created with an aim to spread awareness among children about the correct oral health habits, basic hygiene and diet and reduce the prevalence of dental caries.

At Colgate, we understand that oral health plays a significant role in people’s overall health. Thus we recognize the importance of a healthy smile and following continued good oral health care practices. Importantly, developing good habits at an early age helps children get a good start towards a lifetime of oral health. As India’s leader in oral care, Colgate is committed to improving children’s oral health and considers it as the Company’s responsibility to bring healthy, bright smiles to the children of India through oral health awareness and education.

A chart containing oral care information is left in each classroom as a reminder to the children, and for the teachers to reiterate the oral care message. School teachers are trained and provided with a ‘Teacher’s Guide’ to help them instill good oral care habits on an on-going basis. The Teacher’s Guide helps teachers advocate the importance of healthy teeth.

As a pilot in the year 2019-20, along with the preventive Oral Health awareness for children, dental check-ups were added in the ongoing BSBF program in two cities, predominantly in the government municipal schools. This pilot program was successfully implemented for approximately 2 million children. BSBF has, so far, touched the lives of 170 million plus children between the ages of 6 and 14 years in schools across India since inception of the program.

In the financial year 2019-20 alone, the BSBF program reached 7.34 million children across the country with Oral Health Awareness and Education. The year 2020 was a challenging year due to COVID-19 and schools were not open for most of the period. Teams worked with agility and worked on piloting an effective e-BSBF program in a digitally safe environment reaching out to the children and their parents in the comfort of their home. The pilot was done across 2 cities and based on its success, it was quickly scaled up to reach 1.2 MM children across cities.

It required the teams to consistently work with the school authorities in a timely manner to engage with the child and parents at the apt time to reinforce the importance of developing good oral care & hygiene habits, which is much more critical during these times. The e-BSBF program also provided the children with an e-brushing calendar to track their brushing habits. The learnings of the e-BSBF program will be helpful to plan for the future.

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