These dental health tips that your whole family can follow can protect our children from a silent health crisis in the Philippines. Plus: Promo alert!
Me Time | By Trixie Reyna on April 13, 2024
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It wasn’t until I became a mom that I realized how important it was to teach kids proper dental habits. Those delicate milk teeth don’t fall out and grow back until they’re around 6 or 7, so habits that make sure they stay healthy and intact until then ensures they will also know how to properly care for their permanent teeth once they have them.

Brushing With Colgate

There’s a pediatric dentist (dentist to kids) in our family, and seeing photos on their clinic Instagram page of very young children getting their teeth treated after cavities have destroyed them made me realize how not brushing enough can really impact not just how they look but also their young lives.

This is a silent health crisis that continues to affect the lives of millions of Filipino children, going undetected by parents and teachers due to a lack of awareness and information. This silent epidemic has been present for years, affecting the young population, yet there is an unusual scarcity of information and discussion about its prevention has remained limited.

Dental cavities, unseen yet harmful, have led to “missing smiles” and have also greatly affected the well-being of these children, leading to school absenteeism and hindering them from performing their daily activities.

The recent National Survey on Oral Health of the Department of Health showed that poor oral health has negatively affected children’s social interactions and academic performances. A staggering 83% of children aged 5-12 years old are struggling because of cavities. Neglecting oral care can lead to more serious oral health issues besides cavities, such as gum disease, and even tooth loss.

Dental issues caused by cavities lead to sleep interruptions, physical inconveniences such as dry mouth and difficulty eating, and a psychosocial impact among Filipino children. The Department of Health emphasized the role of parents, teachers, and communities in preventing and addressing this massive health issue.

In support of this, leading oral health brand Colgate has a Bright Smiles, Bright Futures (BSBF) program that has touched the lives of more than a billion children in over 80 countries around the world. In the Philippines, BSBF has reached 40 million school children in the past 25 years. Since 1997, the program has reached 37,000 public schools and 700 daycare centers across 319 cities and municipalities.

With the help of the government, BSBF pledges to improve the oral health of Filipinos and work toward eliminating cavities. By instilling children with effective habits, such as brushing their teeth at least two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste like Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection, proper and regular application of fluoride, and regular dental check-ups, Colgate aspires for a future where majority of Filipino children are cavity-free by age 10.


Here are four insightful tips from the experts at Colgate and our family’s own dentists to help you and your children develop good oral health habits and routines. By incorporating these tips into your family’s daily routine, you can all maintain a brighter, healthier smile for years to come.

1. Prioritize regular dental check-ups

While sometimes nerve-wracking, especially for young children, it’s always worth the trip. Booking regular appointments for routine dental examinations is definitely a must to keep our teeth in tiptop shape. Colgate advises getting a thorough dental examination and professional cleaning from your family dentist at least twice a year to not only identify and prevent potential problems from developing, but also help maintain a healthy and bright smile.

2. Replace your toothbrush regularly

Much like how we replace important items like our phones or clothes that have seen better days, replacing the toothbrush of each member of the family is equally important for your family’s oral health. Toothbrushes actually become less effective over time, needing to be replaced every three months to ensure peak performance. When a toothbrush is used for more than three months, it may be subject to fraying. My child’s dentist advises looking at the back side of the toothbrush: If you can already see the bristles splaying on the sides, it’s time to replace it, even if it’s less than three months.

Following an illness, you should also replace your toothbrush, as harmful bacteria can linger on the bristles and potentially infect you again. So, think of a new toothbrush as an upgrade—a simple change that makes a big difference in your overall well-being!

Children especially need to replace their toothbrushes more often than adults do, as they are beginning to learn the ins and outs of brushing their teeth. That said, try to build a practice out of replacing your toothbrush head or toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles begin to fray. A new toothbrush, like Colgate’s Easy Comfort, keeps bacteria and germs from building up on the toothbrush, ensuring its peak performance.


3. Be consistent with your oral care routine

It’s important to have a consistent oral care routine, which includes brushing and flossing. Start by setting a goal for yourself and your child to brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day to get rid of bacteria and plaque build up. By regularly cleaning in between your teeth, flossing can help you avoid gum disease and cavities—something all three of our family dentists can’t stress enough. You can also make use of oral mouthwash in your daily routine, like Colgate’s Plax Peppermint Fresh, which provides all-day bad breath protection with brushing for up to 16 hours with three weeks of usage.

Tip from our dentist: Don’t gargle water or even mouthwash after brushing, as this washes off the fluoride from the toothpaste. If you really must gargle (like I do), do that and floss before you brush.

Maintaining good oral hygiene during the day and at night can help you create a new, healthier habit that will serve you well in the long run.

4. Pay attention to your diet

What you eat really matters for your oral health, and Colgate is here to remind you to be smart about your family’s snacking habits. Opting for treats with less sugar can go a long way toward keeping those cavities and tooth decay at bay, especially among young kids. For healthier teeth and gums, try choosing a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and food high in calcium. Drinking a lot of water throughout the day can also help flush out any lingering bacteria in your teeth, in addition to keeping you hydrated.

Make a conscious effort to prioritize your family’s dental health, because good oral hygiene pays off in the long run. By following a proper oral care routine, you will notice significant improvements in your family’s overall health. You’ll all be one step closer to a lifetime of brighter, healthier smiles if you follow these healthy habits.

Here’s a fun challenge you can do with your kids and the whole family to keep your smiles strong and healthy:

Participate in Colgate’s community challenges by checking their Facebook or Instagram page every Monday for new challenges. Just follow the challenge instructions to join. Then post your challenge participation entries, whether photos or videos. Use #KeepSmilesPresent and tag @ColgatePhilippines so they can keep track of your entries. Make sure your profile is set to public. Keep joining the challenges for a chance to win a year’s supply of Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection! There are 10 winners weekly, announced every Monday.

You still have a chance to join the one this week, and watch for the next one this Monday!

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