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31 Jan 2012 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 28

Colgate launches 'Smile for Change' campaign in Australia

By Joseph Allbeury

Oral Health Promotion Prevention

A staggering 605,700 Australian children are living in jobless families and unable to access the same educational, health or life opportunities that many of us enjoy and often take for granted. To help address this growing problem, Colgate has launched its Smile for Change campaign in partnership with The Smith Family and swimming legend Susie O'Neill to help make a difference. Kicked off at Sydney's biggest iconic smile, Luna Park, the campaign is set to help kids in need create better futures for themselves.

The campaign is a timely reminder that children's oral health is a major and growing issue in Australia, particularly among disadvantaged children. Poor oral health may prevent children from smiling which can impact their social interactions and the way they feel about themselves. Dentists can support the campaign by encouraging their patients to get behind the Smile for Change campaign, and help raise money for The Smith Family and disadvantaged children.

Dr Susan Cartwright, Scientific Affairs Manager at Colgate said, "The campaign message is simple, a child's smile has such a positive emotional impact on all of us. When they smile so do we, so we are encouraging all mums and dads to donate a smile to make a real difference. The goal of the campaign is not only to make a difference to Australian children in need but to also continue our commitment of good dental health education with the dentist, parents and in the classroom with pre-school and primary school teachers."

The power of a smile is unmistakable. Studies have shown that smiles are contagious and we can't help but mimic a smile. Infants' smiles communicate joy and inspire positive emotional responses in adults. In turn, smiling releases endorphins, the 'feel good' chemicals. The Smile for Change campaign aims to get Australia's 5 million children smiling, because when they smile, so do we.

Dental patients can join the charge by visiting to upload/donate a smile. For every photo of a child's smile 'donated' or uploaded, Colgate will donate one dollar to The Smith Family.

Susie O'Neill, Campaign Ambassador and mother of two, said, "A smile is often said to be a little curve that can make a lot of things straight, its impact is infectious and often immeasurable. The power of a child's smile is at the core of Colgate's campaign. For every smile 'donated' or uploaded on to the campaign page (, Colgate will donate a dollar to The Smith Family. By uploading our photos we can help to raise money for an extremely worthy cause and create some smiles."

Scott Walters, Head of Strategic Partnerships at The Smith Family comments, "When children are left out, they get left behind and without support, the disadvantage they experience today is likely to continue into adulthood and on to the next generation. The true extent of the situation often goes unnoticed so we are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Colgate on this campaign. The donations that will flow as a result of Australians posting smiles will provide much-needed assistance to thousands of Australian children in need through our 'Learning for Life' programs."

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