Colgate-Palmolive Company has announced it is launching a public health initiative, dubbed Know Your OQ, to empower people to understand and improve their oral health quotient.
Similar to intelligence and emotional quotient, Colgate hopes for people to know their oral health quotient and understand the links between oral health and overall health and wellbeing. The company will commit more than US$100 million over the next five years to address a global health crisis affecting nearly half the world’s population and ensure oral health is incorporated into broader public health strategies.
“As the worldwide leader in oral care and with our trusted Colgate brand in more homes than any other, Colgate-Palmolive has the opportunity to address a global health crisis that has far-reaching and significant impacts,” said Noel Wallace, chairman, president and CEO of Colgate-Palmolive. “We’ve got the team, the partners, the innovations and the motivation to reimagine a healthier future for all.”
Oral health is often overlooked, even though an estimated 3.5 billion people currently suffer from oral diseases. Despite there being proven strategies for prevention, cavities remain the most prevalent chronic disease among adults and children, and it is estimated that 2.3 billion people suffer from tooth decay.
Periodontal disease is among humanity’s most common ailments, with severe gum diseases, which may result in tooth loss, affecting 10% of the global population. The crisis of oral disease has significant consequences, since oral health has impacts for physical health and emotional wellbeing: research shows that oral health is linked to other physical health conditions, and a global Colgate study found that childhood cavities lead to worry, anxiety and sadness in both kids and their parents.
“Research has consistently shown that oral health is a window to overall health, yet oral health literacy is very low,” said Maria Ryan, vice president and chief clinical officer at Colgate-Palmolive. “That’s why we’re on a mission to help people increase their oral health knowledge with: Know Your OQ. If we all understand the importance of oral health and embrace simple, proven preventative strategies, we can help decrease risk for oral diseases and empower people worldwide to join in the fight against oral diseases that impact overall health and well-being.”
At the Know Your OQ website, people can take a free, interactive assessment to determine their OQ score. The website also includes information about the depth and breadth of the global oral health crisis and provides educational resources for primary care physicians, nurses and educational leaders as well as consumers to improve oral hygiene, encourage healthier habits and promote overall systemic health.