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Missing Smiles: The Silent Crisis in the Philippines

While the Philippines is finally recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still an on-going silent health crisis looming over the country. This silent epidemic has been present for years affecting the young population yet there is an unusual scarcity of information and discussion about its prevention has remained limited. 

The Department of Health reported that 73% of Filipinos have been battling this silent health crisis where 83% ages 5-12 years old are affected. Prevalence of cavities among children has resulted in countless missing smiles in school. It was identified as the primary cause of school absenteeism and imposed detrimental effects on the performance of children both in academic and social activities. 

Colgate, the leading oral health brand in the country and ally in protecting Filipinos against cavities, is helping raise awareness on the impact of poor oral health to school absenteeism among children. 

To amplify this cause, commuters can spot along major thoroughfares in Metro Manila disconcerting images of Filipino children missing one of their greatest assets, smile. How can we help these children get their smiles back?

The images are located along C5 Bagong Ilog Southbound, C5 Bagong Ilog Northbound, EDSA Guadalupe Bridge, and EDSA Orense. Several murals and images can also be seen across the Mall of Asia Complex and at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).

These initiatives hope to call the attention of the public to help address the crisis and protect children’s smiles while encouraging a healthier and enabling learning environment. Are your children missing their smiles too?

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Dexter Francis De Vera is a manila-based art director with over 20 years extensive experience in the media industry producing editorials and advertising, retail space design (store displays), and more. His inspiration has always been the most powerful and most influential segment of the design world—fashion. As managing editor, he is responsible for curating, developing and overseeing editorial and social media content for iEventetc. Keep in touch with Dexter through [email protected]