Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® And New York City Students Mark Milestone With "25 Days Of Smiles" Celebration

Posted on October 27, 2016

NEW YORK, Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures (BSBF) global oral health program wrapped up "25 Days of Smiles" – its 25th Anniversary celebration – in Manhattan, hosting oral health festivities that brought New York Giants standouts Rashad Jennings and Victor Cruz, and more than 250 students at P.S./I.S. 76 in Harlem together for free dental screenings, games, activities and a mass card stunt – all of which raised awareness about the importance of dental health.

Bright Smiles, Bright Futures has been reaching children in urban and rural areas across the country since 1991. A Bright Smiles, Bright Futures mobile dental van dedicated to the New York metropolitan area has been providing free dental screenings, oral health education and treatment referrals to underserved children for more than two decades. Colgate maintains a fleet of nine mobile dental vans visit more than 1,000 U.S. cities and towns each year, reaching millions of children.

"Our children deserve every opportunity to thrive and succeed, and helping to ensure that their dental health needs are addressed is at the heart of the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program," said Dr. Marsha Butler, Colgate's Vice President, Global Oral Health.  "Untreated decay can cause pain and infection that may lead to difficulty eating, speaking, socializing, and sleeping and to poor overall health. Dental problems also negatively affect school attendance and performance.i

"When we launched the Bright Smiles, Bright Futures initiative in 1991, our goal was to screen and provide oral health education to underserved children in two cities – Philadelphia, PA and Oakland, CA. Over the past 25 years, BSBF has reached more than 100 million children in the U.S. and more than 850 million in 80 countries."

"Educating today's youth means bringing school and the community together in ways that support the physical, social and academic development of all students," Charles DeBerry, Principal of P.S./I.S. 76, said in his welcoming remarks. "Our school is delighted to be a part of the Bright Smiles, Bright Futures celebration and to reaffirm to our students the importance of maintaining their overall health and well- being."

"When I look at you, I see rising stars," Rashad Jennings told the students, "and your teachers, parents and all of us here are counting on you to do great things. A toothache and tooth decay can get in your way, though, making it difficult to think about anything else. The Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program has been educating children and their families about oral health for 25 years. They are here with you today because they want you to take good care of your teeth and gums so that you can come to school ready to learn, grow and, someday soon, live the dreams that you have for yourselves."

Added Victor Cruz: "There are a lot of programs out there aimed at helping people, but serving children for 25 years, in communities where there is a real need, that's something we all can celebrate."

Colgate kicked-off BSBF's "25 Days of Smiles" campaign in September, donating 500,000 oral care products to the Kids In Need Foundation (KINF), a 501(3)(c) charitable organization that prepares children to learn and succeed by providing free school supplies to students most in need. The celebration continued with oral health celebrations and van visits to cities across the U.S. It also includes a #SmileforPictureDay challenge that encourages individuals to help drive awareness about the importance of children's oral health by following @ColgateBSBF on Twitter and sharing their #TBT school picture using #SmileforPictureDay. For every photo shared between September 22 and October 31, 2016, Colgate will donate $1 to KINF1.

Follow @ColgateBSBF on Twitter to learn more about the BSBF oral health festivals, get new and #throwback BSBF facts and photos, and oral health tips.

For more information on the Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program, or to request that a BSBF dental van visit a community near you, please visit www.colgatebsbf.com.

 

i Newacheck, P. W., Hughes, D. C., Hung, Y. Y., Wong, S., & Stoddard, J. J. (2000). The unmet health needs of America's children. Pediatrics, 105(4 Pt 2), 989–997.

1 For every photo shared on Twitter between September 22 through October 31 using the hashtag #SmileforPictureDay, Colgate will donate $1.00 to KINF, for a minimum donation of $15, 000 and a maximum donation of $25,000

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