July 2014 – New Orleans LA: New Orleans Pelicans star Jrue Holiday and over 200 of his youngest fans at the Treme Recreation Center are on the road to better dental and overall health thanks to Colgate’s mobile dental vans!

Building on a partnership spanning more than 20 years, Colgate-Palmolive proudly joined the National Dental Association (NDA) for the launch of NDA-HEALTH NOW – a new health initiative that will send dental professionals, physicians, optometrists and nurses into New Orleans’ underserved communities to provide free health services and screenings.

As part of the July 25 kick-off celebration at the Treme Recreation Center, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® (BSBF) was on-site with two of their mobile dental vans to provide free dental screenings, oral health education and treatment referrals to children in attendance. Colgate’s efforts also included a surprise guest, New Orleans Pelicans standout Jrue Holiday, who led more than 200 children in attendance, in educational activities that reinforced the importance of healthy habits.

The state of Louisiana represents an area that could greatly benefit from an initiative like NDA-HEALTH NOW. A Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey conducted between January and December 2013 ranked Louisiana in the bottom five of states in which residents were most likely to have visited the dentist in the past 12 months.

It was also one of eight states that have ranked in the bottom ten every year since 2008. Similarly, a Pew Charitable Trust 2011 report entitled, “The State of Children’s Dental Health: Making Coverage Matter,” indicated that the state of Louisiana received a grade of “D” for its ability to ensure low-income children’s access to care.

Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures is among the most far reaching, successful children’s oral health initiatives in the world. To date, the program has reached more than 700 million children and their families across 80 countries.

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