The Sri Lanka Dental Association (SLDA) and Unilever Sri Lanka, which have been working together in promoting oral health in Sri Lanka for nearly five decades, launched the ‘Live Learn Laugh’ (LLL) oral health promotion project in 2006. The project is funded by the FDI World Dental Federation and Unilever Global.
After achieving great success in the first phase of the project which commenced in 2006, the Phase II of LLL was launched in the North Western Province, with the simple objective of inculcating the habit of brushing twice a day with fluoride tooth paste, in 150 schools in Wayamba.
Brushing twice a day with a fluoride tooth paste has proven beyond doubt to reduce dental caries, periodontal disease and improve oral hygiene in general. Sri Lanka Dental Association, Unilever Sri Lanka, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health being the main stake holders of the project, work closely to get the maximum benefit and to reduce the burden of dental disease among school children in the Province.
Under the Phase II, LLL project has already been implemented in 50 schools and plan to implement in 100 more schools by taking two batches of 50 schools each, in January and May 2013. The project is actively supported by the Director, Health and Nutrition of the Ministry of Education and the Deputy Director General of Dental Service of the Ministry of Health and coordinated through the offices of the Provincial Director of Education and Provincial Director of Health Office of North Western Province (NWP).
Project Manager and National coordinator of LLL Sri Lanka, and the former president of the Asia Pacific Dental Federation, Professor Prasad Amaratunga, sharing his thoughts on the project stated that the LLL project in the North Western Province is implemented through school health clubs, and monitored by the regional dental surgeon, Kurunegala together with other dental surgeons and school dental therapists of NWP. In order to maintain good oral health throughout life, it is important to inculcate good oral care habits among people, especially among children. ‘Brushing teeth twice-a-day with a fluoridated toothpaste for better oral health’ is the slogan. Our main objective is to educate school children and have an impact on actual behavioral change.
President of the Sri Lanka Dental Association Dr. Suresh Shanmuganathan stated that the SLDA’s mission is to be the professional body which maintains excellence in oral health care, thus it brings together all stake holders in achieving its objectives of improving the oral health and well being of people of Sri Lanka. Brand Manager of Signal Mihira Kulathunga expressing his views on the project said: “Unilever through Signal had been instilling good oral hygiene habits to the people of Sri Lanka giving them the confidence to smile since 1982. We are committed to promote dental care, educate masses on oral hygiene and implement strategies to promote dental care among children. With a vision of protecting the Sri Lankan smile for the future, Unilever through Signal will continue to work and offers a wide range of variants in its toothpaste and toothbrush portfolio, guaranteeing you strong healthy teeth through its leading innovations.”