Dr. Fernando Fernandez – Speaker, PDA House of Delegates, Ms. Nica Marquez Whang – Director of Marketing Oral Care, Colgate Palmolive Philippines Inc., Dr. Emmanuel T. Centeno – President of the Philippine Dental Association,  and Dr. Alvin Laxamana – Chairman of NDHM Bente 2024, alongside representatives from Colgate Philippines and the Philippine Dental Association.

Colgate, the leading oral health brand in the Philippines, partners with the Philippine Dental Association (PDA) to celebrate the beginning of the 20th Annual National Dental Health Month (NDHM) on January 28, 2024, at the Mall of Asia Music Hall.

National Dental Health Month, led by the PDA, is an annual campaign to encourage dental professionals, students, relevant government agencies, and professional organizations to reach out to more individuals who lack access to dental care, particularly those living in the countryside. First observed as National Dental Health Week in 1951, this annual event was extended to a month-long celebration in 2004.

Speaking at the kickoff event, Secretary Dr. Teodoro J. Herbosa emphasized how Filipinos should place a high priority on their oral health because it is essential to both their general well-being and building a vibrant and thriving country. Among those in attendance were Dr. Enrique A. Tayag of the USEC Department of Health, and Joey Calixto Isidro, Acting Vice Mayor of Pasay City, who all remain steadfast in their commitment to support health initiatives that benefit the growth and development of Filipino children.

USEC Dr. Enrique A. Tayag addressing the crowd at the event.

Now in its 20th year, National Dental Health Month places special emphasis on the “Isang Milyong Sipilyo, Angat Ngiting Pilipino” program. A testament to Colgate Philippines being a strong partner of this program is its commitment to supply at least one million elementary school students nationwide with free oral care kits containing a toothbrush and toothpaste and to provide appropriate oral health education. On February 5, National Tooth Brushing Day, all 127 dental chapters of the PDA will participate in a simultaneous toothbrushing event, kicking off the program’s Luzon leg.

“Partnering with the Philippine Dental Association to celebrate National Dental Health Month is aligned with our mission to empower more children to take charge of their own dental health as this improves their overall well-being as they grow older,” says Nica Marquez Whang, Director of Marketing Oral Care, Colgate Palmolive Philippines Inc. “Today’s celebration is the right avenue for Colgate to provide free dental check-ups at the Mall of Asia Music Hall and gift complimentary dental kits to everyone in attendance as we are keen on continuing to support initiatives for the benefit of Filipino children.”

Bright Smiles, Bright Futures®

Children at the event received free oral care kits courtesy of Colgate Philippines.

Colgate shares the same objective as the PDA through its Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® Program, or BSBF program—the cornerstone of Colgate’s long-standing commitment to help end cavities. Approximately 1.7 billion children and families in more than 80 countries have benefited from the work of the BSBF since 1991. In the Philippines, BSBF has reached over 40 million schoolchildren in the past 25 years. The program has reached 37,000 public schools and 700 childcare facilities in 319 cities and municipalities since 1997.

Dr. Cristina Lacanilao, NDHM Plaques and Recognition Committee of the Philippine Dental Association,  Dr. Alvin Laxamana, Chairman of the NDHM Bente 2024, Ms. Nica Marquez Whang, Director of Marketing Oral Care, Colgate Palmolive Philippines Inc., and Dr. Emmanuel T. Centeno, President of the Philippine Dental Association

“Kicking off the launch of National Dental Health Month led by the Philippine Dental Association emulates our commitment to help achieve a zero-cavity future by encouraging Filipinos to prioritize their oral health. We want to end the silent health crisis of cavities in children in the country. Our Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® program targets Filipino children to help keep them present in school and help reduce absenteeism caused by toothaches and cavities,”  shares Ms. Whang.

Colgate-Palmolive Philippines Inc. and the Philippine Dental Association both passionately believe that every Filipino deserves not just a bright smile but also a bright future. Let’s all celebrate the true power of Filipino smiles! Stay tuned for exciting activities and updates throughout National Dental Health Month as we work together to make brighter smiles and brighter futures for all.