Colgate brings Bright Smiles, Bright Futures campaign to Gulf area

NEW ORLEANS Colgate-Palmolive is teaming up with three players from the National Football League's New Orleans Saints to champion good oral health among Gulf Coast children.

Colgate said its Bright Smiles, Bright Futures national campaign to improve children's oral health has joined Super Bowl champions Jonathan Vilma, Pierre Thomas and Marques Colston, as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast, to host festivals highlighting the importance of maintaining good oral health.

More than 600 children in New Orleans and Mississippi's Hancock and Harrison Counties will receive free dental screenings, oral health education and treatment referrals this weekend. They also will join New Orleans Saints Vilma, Thomas and Colston in a brush-athon to promote oral health awareness.

"Today, with the challenges surrounding access to health care, the oral health awareness and outreach that we perform with community partners like the Boys & Girls Clubs and our volunteer dentists is more important than ever," said Marsha Butler, Colgate's VP global oral health and professional relations. "Over the past several years, with Hurricane Katrina and the current oil spill crisis, the Gulf Coast region has been faced with situations that, for children and adults alike, have been beyond their control. However, taking care of our teeth and gums and helping to prevent oral health disease is something children can control if they learn how and develop healthy habits. There is a pressing need to improve oral health in this area of the country, and Colgate is proud to be leading this effort."

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