Launched in the United States in 1991 and now active in more than 80 countries on six continents, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures (BSBF) is among the most far-reaching, successful children’s oral health initiatives in the world, driving better oral health actions, greater awareness and increased access to oral care.
The cornerstone of BSBF is an award-winning educational curriculum presented by classroom teachers. The company also has created new classroom toolkits for its employees to bring activities and experiments to school age kids. In addition, Colgate operates nine mobile dental vans that travel to more than 1,000 U.S. cities and towns to provide free dental screenings, oral health education and treatment referrals to underserved children. These vans visit schools, Head Start and after school programs, and community events.
“Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children around the world, so it’s our hope to reach the next billion children in half the time it took to reach our first billion,” said Dr. Marsha Butler, a dentist and Colgate-Palmolive vice president who has led the program from its inception. “The Colgate brand is found in nearly two thirds of homes around the globe – more than any other brand in the world– so we have a special opportunity and responsibility to promote healthy oral care habits among the next generation.”
To reach further into communities around the world, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures partners with governments, schools and community groups.
Partnerships Around the World
- In the U.S., Colgate is expanding its partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America for 2019 with a “Smile-a-bration” competition. Children at participating Clubs will use music, dance, art or some other creative expression to share the importance of healthy oral care habits. Winning Clubs will receive a grant from Colgate. “This is our fourth year bringing the Bright Smiles program into our Boys & Girls Clubs across the country,” says Jim Clark, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “We believe it makes an important contribution to the health of our kids. Good brushing habits and a healthy mouth help build a child’s self-esteem and promote academic success. That’s a big part of our mission.”
- In Mexico, Colgate BSBF has reached over 224 million children since 1993. Colgate worked with the Mexico City government in 2017 to support legislation that ensures that 1.2 million school children receive oral health education and a tooth-brushing kit from Colgate. The company now hopes to extend the reach of that program to additional Mexican municipalities.
- In Romania, the Romanian Red Cross is a valued partner in bringing the BSBF program into schools. In the past 25 years, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures has reached 6 million Romanian children.
- In South Africa, Colgate has a longstanding relationship with the Department of Health. The partnership includes two mobile vans that reach 100,000 children a year, and visits by dentists to schools to educate, screen and provide treatment to children.
- In India, where the focus has been on reaching underserved children in rural areas, Colgate recently added outreach to children in cities, partnering with the Dental Council of India and Government agencies. Colgate India has reached 162 million children with dental education and checkups.
Said Dr. Butler: “Colgate people are honored to play a part in helping children to have a healthier and brighter future. We believe that every child, everywhere in the world, deserves a future to smile about.”
Colgate-Palmolive is a leading global consumer products company, tightly focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition. Colgate sells its products in over 200 countries and territories around the world under such internationally recognized brand names as Colgate, Palmolive, elmex, Tom’s of Maine, Sorriso, Speed Stick, Lady Speed Stick, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Protex, Sanex, Elta MD, PCA Skin, Ajax, Axion, Fabuloso, Soupline and Suavitel, as well as Hill’s Science Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diet. For more information about Colgate’s global business, visit the Company’s website at http://www.colgatepalmolive.com. To learn more about Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® oral health education program, please visit http://www.colgatebsbf.com. CL-E