Colgate and Plunket Committed to Keeping Kiwi Kids Smiling

Colgate-Palmolive, Plunket and the NZ Dental Association are celebrating giving away more than 150,000 infant toothbrushes and toothpastes, as part of their commitment to establish healthy oral hygiene habits in Kiwi children from an early age.

For the past three years, Colgate has donated a toothbrush and toothpaste to every new baby at their five-month Plunket visit, along with educational resources developed by NZ Dental Association (NZDA), for Plunket nurses and parents. The joint initiative is designed to combat cavities in New Zealand children’s teeth.

Colgate Scientific Affairs Manager Rebecca Schipper says, “Kids who get into the habit of brushing twice daily when they are young are likely to continue this routine into adulthood.”

“We want Kiwi kids to grow up understanding the importance of looking after their teeth and believe that instilling good oral health habits in our children will both alleviate the cavity count and make a difference to New Zealand’s oral health in general,” she says.

Plunket Clinical Advisor Allison Jamieson says, “We love being part of this initiative. Giving every new Plunket baby their first toothbrush and toothpaste helps parents realise just how important it is to start brushing as soon as those first teeth come through.

“The educational resources are really helpful, and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback from families,” Jamieson says.

“The NZDA-Colgate produced information shows families how decay progresses, and how to spot signs of decay in the mouth, on teeth and around the gum line.

“The resources demonstrate how to brush correctly; and also help us to show parents and children why we check their teeth and gums, and what we’re looking for.”

Schipper says, “Colgate is committed to doing its part to prevent decay in Kiwi kids’ teeth, and parents should play their part too. Make sure your kids brush twice a day and eat foods that are high in nutrition and low in sugar. After all, there is nothing as precious as a child’s smile.”

The Health of New Zealand Children 2011/12 report, which outlines key findings of the New Zealand Health Survey, shows 34,000 children have had one or more teeth removed due to decay, abscess or infection in 2012.
While this number represents only 4% of all New Zealand children, Rebecca Schipper says this is still 34,000 cavities too many.

“It’s so important that we reach kids at a time when their teeth are just starting to break through,” Schipper says.

“Education and early intervention are crucial to preserving the health of Kiwi kids’ teeth.

“Parents often think it isn’t necessary to brush baby teeth because they will fall out and be replaced. But this is a myth and there is a flow-on effect to their adult teeth.”

Dental Association Chief Executive, David Crum, says his organisation is proud to be supporting the initiative through the provision of oral health expertise and advice.

NZDA has worked in partnership for many years with Colgate and in 2007 provided the concept of further partnering between Colgate and Plunket so as to increase oral health promotion to young New Zealanders. Colgate has provided over 50,000 toothbrushes and pastes to New Zealand infants each year since 2010.

– ENDS –
To receive more information, contact:
Alex Hema, Acumen Republic for Colgate-Palmolive, 04 494 5182,


About Colgate-Palmolive
Colgate-Palmolive is a wholly owned subsidiary of the New York Stock Exchange listed Colgate-Palmolive company. It is a leading global consumer products company specialising in oral health care, personal and household care, fabric care and pet nutrition. Colgate-Palmolive’s products are sold over 200 countries and include internationally recognised brands such as Colgate, Palmolive, Ajax, Cold Power, and Fab.

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