RIYADH: More than 3,200 dentists have volunteered to support a nationwide campaign for dental care and oral hygiene launched jointly by Saudi Dental Society (SDS) and Colgate-Palmolive here Monday night.
During the campaign, Saudis and expatriates across the Kingdom can receive free dental checkups and consultations.
Dr. Fahad Ali Alshehri, SDS president, launched the campaign at a ceremony of the “Oral Health Month Campaign.”
The event was attended by SDS officials, dentists and health workers, as well as top Colgate-Palmolive executives. Marios Tirkides, Colgate’s regional marketing director, addressed a joint press conference with Alshehri on this occasion.
Alshehri said, “Healthy diets and better oral hygiene habits will improve oral health care standards in Saudi Arabia.”
He said that 88 percent of Saudis and residents in the Kingdom visit a dentist only when they face with dental problems.
“Community-wide initiatives are necessary to change habits, perceptions and practices among both old and young people,” he added.
Alshehri said that “Oral Health Month is an awareness campaign with a mission to raise the standards of oral hygiene practices.” Alshehri also said the SDS has “partnered with Colgate to drive this nationwide initiative designed to encourage families to visit the dentist regularly and take a more preventive approach toward avoiding severe dental problems.”
Colgate-Palmolive marketing director Tirkides said, “Saudis and expatriates can take advantage of free dental checkups throughout April and May by visiting any of the 3,200 dentists across the Kingdom.”
He urged people to visit the campaign’s dedicated website www.colgateamanah.com to book free dental appointments at the closest clinics in their neighborhoods.
He pointed out that some makeshift dental clinics will also be set up in different malls, especially in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam for free checkups. A large number of brochures including educational materials about dental health and hygiene have been readied for distribution during the campaign.
A study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation showed that 16.3 percent of people living in the Kingdom never brush their teeth. According to more recent statistics, the situation has not changed in recent years.

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