Brush Day & Night

Tooth decay (dental caries) is the most prevalent form of oral disease, affecting approximately 2.4 billion people worldwide, with 486 million children suffering from caries of their primary teeth. However, the condition can be prevented through managing risk factors such as having a healthy diet and adopting good oral hygiene habits, including brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Tooth decay disproportionately affects people of low socio-economic status, highlighting a pressing need for oral health interventions in communities without adequate access to education or dental care.

Tooth decay (dental caries) is the most prevalent form of oral disease, with 486 million children suffering from caries of their primary teeth.

A sustainable solution to improving oral health and toothbrushing habits

Brush Day and Night (BDN) focuses on a 21-day programme to teach schoolchildren to brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste. It also encourages children to become community advocates and spread the message of good oral health to their families and friends. The project was launched in 2005 as Live.Learn.Laugh and carried out a broad range of oral health education activities. It was renamed Brush Day & Night in 2014 to reflect an increased focus on improving toothbrushing habits.

Project goals

Teach schoolchildren and parents about the importance of twice-daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste

Implement the 21-day programme and measure its impact on children’s oral health, hygiene and well-being

Work with National Dental Associations to leverage World Oral Health Day and raise awareness about good oral health

Project phases

Phase IV started in January 2017, and will run in 12 countries for three years. It will continue the two main project activities from Phase III:
  1. Oral health school programmes
    The 21-Day programme brings Brush Day & Night’s key messages to children, teaching them the importance of brushing twice-daily with fluoride toothpaste and encouraging them to spread the message. Children brush their teeth at school under supervision, a method that helps create a habit that will last.
    The impact of the school programme will be measured by looking at children’s oral health, hygiene and wellbeing before and after the 21 days. In Phase IV of Brush Day & Night, the school programme will run in Indonesia and Nigeria, starting in July 2017.
  2. World Oral Health Day activities
    Brush Day & Night organized World Oral Health Day celebrations in 12 countries in 2017. The events reinforce the project’s messages and offer children a platform to both learn and teach the world about toothbrushing. Activities took place in: Indonesia, Nigeria, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ghana, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Egypt, Chile and Morocco.

Activities: Education programme in schools and helping children become advocates for oral health. Measuring the impact of the programme on children’s oral health.

Number of people reached: 136 million

Activities: Promoting oral health and toothbrushing in schools and communities

Number of people reached: over 1 million

Activities: Promoting oral health and toothbrushing in schools and communities

Number of people reached: 1 million

Outreach

2005-2009

1 million

2010-2013

>1 million

2014-2016

136 million

The Brush Day & Night project is supported by Unilever.

Resources

International Dental Journal supplement

Brush Day & Night 2018 IDJ Supplement banner

Symposium