A study, conducted in eight countries, has shown that three out of every 10 children missed school last year as a result of oral pain.
The study, commissioned by Pepsodent, a leading brand in oral care, and conducted on more than 4,000 children and parents revealed that children missed 243 million days at school last year because of oral pain worldwide, which called for instant action on mouth health.
The research, carried out in Chile, Egypt, France, Italy, Indonesia, US, Ghana, and Vietnam, which are markets of the Unilever brand, saw 500 respondents from each country.
According to the research, which was unveiled on the 2019 World Oral Health Day, 37 per cent of children who experienced oral pain in the last 12 months, had not taken part in an activity at school because of their teeth compared to 19 per cent of those with no oral pain.
It said 24 per cent of children who felt oral pain in the last 12 months had not raised their hands in class or asked for help because they felt bad about their teeth compared to 13 per cent among those with no oral pain.
The research indicated that 32 per cent of children who had experienced pain in the last 12 months were more likely to avoid socialising with their peers because of their toothache as compared to 20 per cent among those who had not felt oral pain.
The study showed that the quality of a child’s oral care could have an impact beyond obvious medical problems like bad breath and dental pain as well limiting their potential and negatively impact their self-esteem.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Dr Paapa Puplampu, the Vice President of the Ghana Dental Association, said it could now be proven that the impact of oral care on a child’s confidence and sense of self-worth was on a global scale.
He said it was important to use the result of the study to draft more compelling messaging, which could drive real behavioural change around prevention, leading to the reduction in the current alarming levels of tooth decay and oral pain.
Madam Patience Oforiwa Mpereh, the Oralcare Category Manager at Unilever, said the brand have been working on prevention of the situation through free dental check-ups and school programmes for the past 25 years.
She said the activity of Pepsodent over the years had aimed at spreading outstanding oral health across the globe and unlock the power of as many smiles as possible.
She said with the current report, Unilever would assist to evolve the conversation around oral care education around the world to inspire changes that would foster more opportunities for tomorrow.
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