Unilever Ghana has declared its ambition to teach 10 million Ghanaian children to brush their teeth twice daily by 2020.
According to one of the world’s largest producer and retailer of consumer goods, it is also targeting to get one billion people globally brushing their teeth twice in a day.
At an event to mark World Oral Health Day Tuesday, Yeo Ziobeieton, the Managing Director of the company said its research in the area of brushing the teeth has been reassuring.
Yeo Ziobeieton, MD Unilever Ghana
“We at Unilever know after intensive researches done in association with the Ghana Dental Association that the simple act of brushing two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste like Pepsodent reduces by 50% tooth cavities,” he said.
He assured that the company will continue to research to come out with more ways to save the teeth.
There has been an alarming statistic globally as tooth decay is still the world’s most widespread chronic disease. It affects at least six in 10 children and almost every adult.
The situation is no different in Ghana as plaque, decayed teeth, missing teeth, stained teeth and bad breath are chronic and widespread. In Ghana, tooth decay continues to affect nine in 10 children and 10 out of 10 adults.
Despite efforts by government and the Ghana Dental Association, oral hygiene is not getting any better as the situation is compounded by the current dentist to a population of 1:150,000.
But Mr Ziobeieton said Unilever has its feet on the streets of Ghana with Pepsodent toothbrushes and toothpaste in its desire to contribute to a better oral health.
He said this year’s theme ‘Say Ahh: Think Mouth, Think Health’ is very opportune can it encourages people to relate their oral health to general health and well-being.
The Unilever MD wants other multinationals and organisations to join them in the fight to achieve a Ghana free of tooth decay.
As part of Tuesday’s event, over 3,000 school children from different schools in the capital and Tema engaged in a mass brushing of teeth and a 75 million photoshoot.
The 75 million represented the number of children that Unilever, through Pepsodent, has reached with the schools programmes over the past 25 years.
Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Dentist Association, Dr Nana Asante-Appiah, has charged the government to demonstrate its commitment towards the dental health of Ghanaians by removing the tax on dental equipment.
He said the move will help members of the Association to import state-of-the-art-equipment that will help address dental-related issues.
Dr Asante-Appiah lamented how it is expensive to buy x-ray machines, dental injectable and other equipment for their work.
“This has become a big challenge for most dentists and for most the easiest thing to do is to remove the tooth when they have other options like filling,” he said.