Polident’s OPLAN BALIK-NGITI is an advocacy project that helps Filipinos reclaim their lives by making dentures accessible to them coupled with education on proper denture care.
Losing one’s teeth is more than just losing the aesthetic. It is a life-changing experience that changes how a person talks, eats, and even acts which is often taken for granted. A good smile can make an individual feel confident, but losing teeth can take a toll on an individual’s self-image and may affect their confidence, and subsequently, the lack of confidence can result in the inability to get the most out of life opportunities presented to them.
According to credible news sources, one in three Filipinos has dentures. This is one of the highest denture incidences in the world, making the Philippines the highest in Southeast Asia. To address this, as part of Polident’s global mission of Every Mouth Matters, the world-leading dental appliance care teams up with the Philippine Dental Association (PDA) and Philippine Association of Registered Dental Technologists (PARDTI) to put the joy back to the Filipino smile.
The campaign aims to transform the lives of Filipinos by bringing back their confidence to reclaim their full potential and best life experiences through their biggest smile. The program includes free dental checkups, free dentures, free denture care kits (that include Polident Adhesive, Polident Cleanser, and a leaflet to educate the reader), and free denture care education in 30 barangays within 10 different cities nationwide from the end of March until June 2023.
“We at Haleon are committed to empowering more people to be included in opportunities for better everyday health which includes restoring lost teeth by funding access to dentures and partnering with the most credible organizations when it comes to oral health. And we are glad we are kicking off this advocacy right in the same week as World Oral Health Day,” said Jeffrey Go, General Manager of Haleon Philippines and Indonesia. Haleon is a global leader in consumer health, with brands trusted by millions of consumers globally such as Polident.
The high incidence of oral health diseases accounted for 72% of Filipinos having dental caries (tooth decay) and 43% of Filipinos with gum diseases according to the National Survey on Oral Health in 2018. To combat the limited access to dentists and proper oral hygiene products, the program is giving away 1,000 free dentures equivalent to 1,000 transformed lives. Polident also prioritizes existing denture wearers and drives denture care education by giving away at least 50,000 denture care kits.
Moreover, many Filipinos do not have healthcare plans, and even if they did, dentures are rarely covered by healthcare. This leaves a lot of Filipinos toothless while some resort to unregistered and illegitimate dental practitioners that put their safety at risk. This comes with the rise of denture usage among young consumers. “According to the National Oral survey of 2018, approximately 3 out of 10 adult Filipinos wear removable dentures and many more are in danger of suffering from losing teeth with the very significantly high prevalence in tooth decay and gum disease,” Dr. Che del Rosario of the Philippine Dental Association, Inc. (PDA) shares. The alarming data on tooth loss shows that many Filipinos are required to wear dentures at an early age. Contrary to popular belief, senior citizens do not make up the bulk of denture wearers. In fact, 41% of the estimated 30 million Filipinos with dentures are aged 18-35.
“Many Filipinos requiring dentures couldn’t get one due to many factors including financial constraints. The cost of partial dentures varies from an estimate of Php5,000 to Php20,000 depending on the types of material and number of teeth to be replaced. And when a person needs full dentures, that becomes even more costly.”, said Dr. Ronaldo Nunez, a member of PDA and the President of PARDTI.
Maeyen Gomez, a registered nurse, and content creator, also narrated how losing one’s teeth can make a person lose confidence. The same relieving experience was shared by Uldario Molina Jr. also known as “Negi”, a comedian in various TV Shows of ABS-CBN. From this, both Gomez and Molina expressed how getting dentures have been positively life-changing for them even in doing their day-to-day activities. Aside from being confident in their smiles, they also expressed how having dentures allowed them to be comfortable that their oral health is well taken care of and that they can continue living the best experience in life as they also do proper care with the right products for dentures.
“Filipinos are very talented and skillful people. However, many of them can miss achieving their full potential and experience in life due to a lack of confidence rooted in tooth loss impacting how they smile, speak, eat, and laugh,” Go added.
Though it’s a start, there is still plenty to be done about the country’s healthcare access. Everyone deserves life-changing health treatments and Polident is fighting for a more inclusive healthcare system to ensure every Filipino has the access to dentures to empower them to achieve better well-being and quality of life without the burden of missing teeth.