80pc suffer from oral diseases, says Devi

EIGHTY per cent of Fijians suffer from oral diseases, says Colgate Palmolive marketing manager Jyotika Devi.

Speaking at the World Oral Health Day workshop in Suva on Monday, Ms Devi said the oral diseases were dental caries, periodontal disease and tooth loss — despite most of them were being preventable,” she said.

“And factors contributing to oral diseases include an unhealthy diet high in sugar, smoking, harmful use of alcohol, poor hygiene and other social determinants.

“These are also the same factors responsible for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).”

Meanwhile, Ms Devi said the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Future was among the most successful children’s oral health initiatives.

“In Fiji this program annually targets 460,000 kits to be distributed through schools, community outreach programs and dental clinics.

“And Colgate has reached more than 1.6 billion children in over 100 countries since 1991. “Our goal is to reach two billion kids by 2025.

“In Fiji and the Pacific Islands, Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program reaches over 460,000 children annually.”

Ms Devi said they had offered educational kits for teachers and dental professionals to learn about their local program in Fiji.

“We encourage you all to take responsibility for your own oral health, by adopting a healthy lifestyle and choosing a well-balanced diet low in sugars, and high in fruit and vegetables.

“And maintain good oral hygiene by brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.”

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