NEW YORK--Colgate-Palmolive Company recently teamed up with Atlanta Braves outfielder Brian Jordan to host an oral health celebration that presented the "U.S. Surgeon General's Seven Steps to a Bright Smile to more than 400 Atlanta elementary school students.
Developed with a grant from Colgate, the oral health tips are designed to underscore the importance of maintaining good dental hygiene, and empower children to manage their own dental health.
During the interactive presentation, students helped Colgate mascots Dr. Rabbit and Dr. Brushwell defend the Tooth Kingdom against the evil Plaque Monster.
The children also assisted Dr. Marsha Butler, Colgate's Vice President, Global Oral Health and Professional Relations, and Brian Jordan in presenting the "Seven Steps" to their classmates, teachers and administrators at the Cleveland Avenue Elementary School, as well as elected officials and community guests.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard H. Carmona also sent a special message to the students "Prevention is the key to ensuring good oral health," the Surgeon General said in his statement. "
I am committed to informing the public, health care providers, policy makers and educators, among others, that oral health is an essential component of general health and well being. My office is working diligently with oral health professionals and with companies like Colgate to ensure that everyone in the United States has access to oral health education and treatment, and the information they need to maintain a healthy mouth and body."
The "U.S. Surgeon General's Seven Steps to a Bright Smile" are part of a comprehensive campaign launched by Colgate's Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program to provide free dental screening and oral health education to 100 million children by the year 2010.
The tips are designed to assist children in developing and maintaining good oral health habits, and to support the framework for action outlined in the 2003 Surgeon General's report A National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health.
The U.S. Surgeon General's Seven Steps to a Bright Smile" are:
1) Brush teeth and gums with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, especially after eating breakfast and before bedtime.
2) Visit the dentist regularly.
3) Floss your teeth daily.
4) Use fluoride rinse for strong and healthy teeth and gums.
5) Limit the number of times you eat snacks each day ... and remember to practice healthy eating and get plenty of calcium.
6) Wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
7) Ask your dental professional about sealants.
"I'm honored that Colgate has asked me to join their efforts to promote oral health," Brian Jordan told the children. "Over the course of my career, I've made it a point to do everything I can to stay strong and healthy. Oral health disease is putting children at risk. Colgate is taking steps to prevent tooth decay; we can assist them by following the seven steps that we've learned today, and telling our friends and families about the importance of oral health."
"Oral health disease is making disturbing inroads into communities around the U.S.," Dr. Marsha Butler said. "U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard H. Carmona has asked individuals, health care providers, communities and policy makers to assist him in combating the disease. Colgate is helping to lead that fight, and we are partnering with the Surgeon General to provide you with steps that will enable you to have a bright and healthy smile for a lifetime."
"At Colgate, our objective is to work with communities to help reduce and prevent this disease," Dr. Butler added.
"We are providing children and their families with information and skills that allow them to take charge of their dental health. Along with our mobile dental vans that provide free screenings, treatment referrals and oral health education, we are encouraging children to see their dentists, recruiting parents, teachers, community and professional organizations, to help raise awareness about the importance of maintaining good oral health."
For questions concerning the U.S. Surgeon General, please contact the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Public Affairs at