Learning to brush your teeth is one of the earliest life lessons many parents give their children. But some girls and boys live in parts of the world where they don’t have running water or even access to toothbrushes and toothpaste. Many of these places are in remote areas, far from cities and towns.
Girls and boys don't have to grow up in a world filled with plaque and tooth decay. Plan International works in some of the poorest communities to ensure children have access to clean, running water so they can take everything they learn about the importance of brushing their teeth and put it to good use. The emphasis is on making it a fun activity and something the children can be proud of and then go and share with their friends and family. Plan International also supplies toothbrushes and toothpaste where they're needed.
Access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene is critical for the survival, development and well-being of all children. We engage with communities to help them develop their own solutions to local problems.
March 20 is World Oral Health Day and the International Day of Happiness, the perfect time to celebrate children around the world learning to brush their teeth.
In the Andes in Ecuador, living conditions can be very simple: huts made of clay with nothing but beds and smoky fireplaces inside. People here live off the land, but harsh weather conditions can leave many without a harvest leading to malnutrition, diseases and respiratory problems. Regular teeth brushing helps protect children's health.
Vai is a sponsored child belonging to the Khmu ethnic group, who lives in the remote and mountainous area of Pha Oudom in north-western Laos. She is learning about hygiene alongside regular classes at her Plan International-supported school.
The key to the perfect smile
Getting in all the nooks and crannies
Happy World Oral Health Day!