FDI-Unilever Brush Day & Night partnership: 12 years of improving behaviour for better oral health

Int Dent J. 2018 May;68 Suppl 1:3-6. doi: 10.1111/idj.12404. Epub 2018 Mar 24.


Twelve years ago, FDI World Dental Federation and Unilever Oral Care began a partnership to raise awareness of oral health globally. This aim reflects FDI's mission to "lead the world to optimal oral health", and one of the goals set by the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan "to improve health and well-being for more than 1 billion" by 2020. This partnership has developed a series of public health programmes to improve the brushing habits of targeted populations through health promotion and educational campaigns worldwide. Building on the success of the first two phases of the partnership, the third phase (Phase III), named Brush Day & Night, aimed to educate children in brushing twice-daily with fluoride toothpaste via a 21 Day school programme. This article reports the main outcomes of the past 12 years of this partnership, in particular the key outreach and figures of Phase III evaluation. School programmes were implemented in 10 countries, where local teams collected data from children aged between 2 and 12 years to monitor their oral health behaviours using specific indicators. In addition to the school programme, the World Oral Health Day was used as a vehicle to convey oral health awareness to influential governing bodies and the public. As a result, over 4 million people were directly reached by the programme in 2016.

Keywords: Oral health prevention and education; World Oral Health Day; fluoride toothpaste; public-private partnership; school programme; toothbrushing.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Global Health
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Oral Health / education*
  • School Health Services / organization & administration
  • Societies, Dental / organization & administration
  • Toothbrushing* / psychology