This World Oral Health Day, Unilever's family of oral care brands work with Edelman and Mullenlowe Lintas to launch a global campaign to fight tooth loss
Unilever's family of oral care brands provide free teledentistry to the region and raise awareness around tooth loss health issues
Around the world, there is huge inequality and several barriers in access to professional dental care and advice. 'Don't Wait Until It's Too Late #TalkToADentist' launches in Asia by Unilever's family of oral care brands (Pepsodent, P/S) to mark World Oral Health Day 2022. The brands are on a mission to tackle inequality of access and fight preventable tooth loss.
Tooth loss has serious consequences – people who have lost teeth have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease[i] and are at risk of malnutrition[ii], can experience sleep deficiency[iii], be discriminated against[iv], or suffer a loss of self-confidence[v] and anxiety[vi]. Inequality in access is especially severe in low- and middle-income countries where unequal distribution of oral health services, shortages in formally trained dentists, and high costs of dental treatments are more pronounced. Visiting a dentist to address oral health problems is often delayed, or issues are not treated at all.
Brand Film - Don't Wait Until It's Too Late #TalkToADentist:
Unilever engaged MullenLowe Lintas to create a brand film to help drive awareness of tooth issues in the region. The content will demonstrate the importance of acting early to avoid preventable tooth loss will launch on World Oral Health Day. The film tells the story of a boy's journey – from childhood, when losing teeth was exciting, to adulthood when it isn't anymore. It will be shared across local Unilever Oral Care brands' social channels, including YouTube and Facebook, for a month in Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Ghana
Influencers at the Heart of the Campaign
Edelman, London was engaged by Unilever to create the social influencer strategy. The brands will be engaging with prominent influencers across countries to raise awareness and educate people on the importance of getting a dentist's advice early to avoid tooth loss. Using a specially created augmented reality filter, influencers will appear on their social media channels with a missing tooth and encourage people not to delay and see a dentist straight away when they have a problem. By using the filter and hashtag #TalkToADentist, consumers can join the movement to rally against tooth loss and inspire even more people to act at the first sign of tooth pain.
Shining a Spotlight on Tooth Loss in Asia:
The prevalence of tooth loss is exceptionally high in countries where access to dentists is very low. The World Health Organisation recommends a dentist-population ratio of 1 dentist per 7,500 people[vii]. However, there is only one (1) dentist in Indonesia for every 220,000 people, and 96% of people have not visited a dentist in the last 12 months. The average 65-year-old has 11 teeth missing. What's more, 17.6% of all Indonesians aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth. In Vietnam, the average 65-year-old is missing seven (7) teeth**. Here, the ratio is one (1) dentist to every 25,000 people, with the majority of dental clinics (77%) based in urban areas even though 66% of the population lives in rural areas[viii].
Since 2005, Unilever's oral care brands have partnered with the FDI World Dental Federation, an independent organisation representing over 1 million dentists worldwide, to drive awareness of the importance of oral health. As part of an ongoing commitment to give people access to dentists, Unilever's oral care brands will jointly organise free dental check-ups and dental camps with the respective local, national dental associations this year to celebrate World Oral Health Day, the largest global awareness campaign for oral health.
Mariano Sampietro, Global Vice President Oral Care at Unilever, says, "Our oral care brands are on an ongoing mission to unleash the power of healthy smiles and eradicate the oral disease for everyone. We believe that everyone should be able to access convenient and affordable expert dental care. Through our 'Don't Wait Until It's Too Late # TalkToADentist' campaign launching on World Oral Health Day, we provide free Teledentistry services and free dental check-ups via dental camps to tackle barriers to access such as distance and dentist availability. These services will help millions of people take control of their oral health and avoid severe pain, costly and complicated treatments, and ultimately tooth loss. Through our campaign, we hope to raise awareness to ensure people understand the importance of acting early, from the moment a problem arises."
[i] Kementerian Kesehatan Republik Indonesia, Kesehatan Gigi Nasional, September 2019
[ii] Messing, M., Chaves de Souza, L., Cavalla, F., Kumar Kookal, K., Rizzo, G., Walji, M., Silva, R., Letra, A. Investigating Potential Correlations between Endodontic Pathology and Cardiovascular Diseases Using Epidemiological and Genetic Approaches. Journal of Endodontics, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joen.2018.10.014
[iii] Zelig, L. Byham-Gray, S.R. Singer, E.R. Hoskin, A. Fleisch Marcus, G. Verdino, D.R. Radler, R. Touger-Decker. Dentition and Malnutrition
[vii] 7 Okoro, C., Strine, T., Eke, P., Dhingra, S., Balluz, L. The association between depression and anxiety and use of oral health services and tooth loss. Community Dentistry And Oral Epidemiology, 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2011.00637.x
**from footnote 1