Oral-B announces launch of ‘THE BIG RETHINK’

An initiative to make oral care more inclusive, accessible, and positive for people with disabilities, their caregivers, and dental professionals

07 March, 2023 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

Research released by Oral-B has revealed that one-third of Europe’s 166 million population who are affected by a disability in some way have experienced gum issues in the past year.

Of those surveyed in the UK, France, Germany and Italy, almost half of people (47 per cent) with disabilities have not been taught how to brush their teeth properly and more than a fifth (23 per cent) of disabled Europeans feel demotivated when it comes to maintaining their oral health.

Oral-B, a leading innovator in oral health is on a mission to change this with the launch of ‘THE BIG RETHINK’, its social ambition to ensure that everybody has an equitable oral care experience – whether that’s at home or in the dentist’s chair. 

The brand, which is at the beginning of this journey, recognises the need to continue learning from both dental professionals and consumers who frequently experience oral health struggles to be able to make a real impact and offer an equitable oral care experience for everyone. 

To launch THE BIG RETHINK campaign, the brand is working with the International Association for Disability and Oral Health (iADH) to help inform the approach. The first step of this partnership is the launch of the ‘Positive Practices’ programme, designed to train and educate dental practices on how to become more confident and inclusive when it comes to their patients.

The programme will not only enable Oral-B to become more educated on the physical and mental needs of those with different types of disabilities, but it will also help them to learn how to adapt their product offering and improve the oral health outcomes of those with disabilities.  THE BIG RETHINK Content Hub will also offer relevant and helpful content for people with disabilities, their caregivers and families, as well as the professional dental health community.

Visit: https://www.oralb.co.uk/en-gb/big-rethink

As Oral-B celebrates 60 years since the launch of the first electric toothbrush in 1963, the brand continues to put consumer understanding and leading-edge technology at the heart of its product development by designing inclusive products that help to bring about positive change in oral care for everyone. The brand is also developing a series of tools to support dentists within their practices, such as student training and accreditation programmes. 

To celebrate the launch of THE BIG RETHINK, a brand film was unveiled at an event in Frankfurt, Germany. It was an opportunity for Oral-B to set out its ambitions of THE BIG RETHINK and discuss the findings of The Oral Health & Disability European Study with an influential panel of speakers.

The panel included P&G’s Chief Executive Officer for Healthcare Jennifer Davis, iADH spokesperson, Johanna Norderyd, British broadcaster Nikki Fox, British influencer James Hunt, from Stories About Autism and popular German actor Andre Dietz.

Jennifer Davis, P&G Chief Executive Officer, Healthcare said: “As a leading innovator in oral health for over 70 years and the world’s number one dentist-recommended toothbrush brand, we recognise the importance of making oral care accessible to all.

“We are indeed at the beginning of a very exciting journey, and we will continue to learn from both dental professionals and consumers to ensure we are creating positive oral care solutions for everyone – I really believe that this is the beginning of an initiative that has a global footprint.”

Benjamin Binot, P&G Europe Oral Care Senior Vice President, added: “Addressing the significant oral health inequalities experienced by people with disabilities in Europe is a huge priority for Oral-B. 

“Our research shows that today, there are many oral health struggles amongst this audience – one-in-five (20 per cent) of those with severe disabilities find brushing all their teeth physically challenging and more than a third of people with disabilities feel anxious or frustrated when it comes to visiting the dentist.

“We want to help change this and believe that everyone should have an equitable oral health experience.  Through our work with the iADH and the creation of the Positive Practices programme, we want to not only provide dental practices with educational materials to make their practices more inclusive, but also give the disabled community the tools they need to have more autonomy over their own oral health.”

Alison Dougall, Professor in Special Care Dentistry and an Executive Board member of iADH, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Oral-B to address the oral health struggles that are experienced by people with disabilities in Europe.

“Our shared values will enable us to make a huge difference to the oral care experience for people living with visible and non-visible disabilities. We recognise that many healthcare professionals have not received education in special care dentistry during their training, and so by raising awareness around the issue and supporting those with disabilities, we can help to make small but significant adjustments to their oral health routines.”

About the research
The Oral Health & Disability European Study – UK, France, Germany and Italy, was conducted by Reputation Leaders. The studies were conducted between 2021 – 2022 in Germany (n=1034), France (n=1009), UK (n=2029) and Italy (n=1002). In each country the online survey sample was recruited and reported to be representative of the total adult population by age, gender and region. The margin of error of a sample of 5000 adults is +/- 1.4% at a 95% confidence level for the 4 leading economies. At a country level, the margin of error of the sample relative to the total adult population was UK n=2000 (+/- 2.2%), Germany, France and Italy, n=1000 (+/- 3.1%)

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