Colgate-Palmolive Introduces Global Know Your OQ™ Campaign as part of $100 Million 5-Year Oral Health Commitment

Company Broadens Signature Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Program, Launches Global Oral Health Accelerator with Enactus, Initiates Groundbreaking Research and Expands Diversity Scholarships

Colgate-Palmolive Company today announced it is launching a public health initiative to empower people to Know Your OQ™: to understand—and improve—their oral health quotient. Just as people may know their IQ or EQ, which measure cognitive and emotional intelligence, Colgate wants people to know their oral health quotient and understand the links between oral health and overall health and wellbeing. The company will commit more than $100 million over the next five years to address a global health crisis affecting nearly half the world’s population and ensure oral health is incorporated into broader public health strategies.

“As the worldwide leader in oral care and with our trusted Colgate brand in more homes than any other, Colgate-Palmolive has the opportunity to address a global health crisis that has far-reaching and significant impacts,” said Noel Wallace, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’ve got the team, the partners, the innovations and the motivation to reimagine a healthier future for all.”

At, people can take a free, interactive assessment to determine their OQ score. The website also includes compelling information about the depth and breadth of the global oral health crisis and provides educational resources for primary care physicians, nurses and educational leaders as well as consumers to improve oral hygiene, encourage healthier habits and promote overall systemic health.

"Research has consistently shown that oral health is a window to overall health, yet oral health literacy is very low,” said Maria Ryan, DDS, PhD, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Colgate-Palmolive. “That’s why we’re on a mission to help people increase their oral health knowledge with Know Your OQ™. If we all understand the importance of oral health and embrace simple, proven preventative strategies, we can help decrease risk for oral diseases and empower people worldwide to join in the fight against oral diseases that impact overall health and well being.”

Oral health is often overlooked, even though an estimated 3.5 billion people currently suffer from oral diseases. Despite there being proven strategies for prevention, cavities remain the most prevalent chronic disease among adults and children, and it is estimated that 2.3 billion people suffer from tooth decay. Periodontal disease is among humanity's most common ailments, with severe gum diseases, which may result in tooth loss, affecting 10% of the global population. The crisis of oral disease has significant consequences, since oral health has impacts for physical health and emotional wellbeing: research shows that oral health is linked to other physical health conditions, and a global Colgate study found that childhood cavities lead to worry, anxiety and sadness in both kids and their parents.

“Studies show there are links between chronic infections and inflammation and medical conditions like cardiovascular disease and stroke, with common oral diseases being identified as contributors to increased risk for a number of systemic disorders. The mouth is a source of bacteria and inflammation impacting overall health,” said Nieca Goldberg, MD, nationally recognized pioneer in women’s heart health, cardiologist and Medical Director of Atria New York City. “It’s critical that the medical community consider the importance of oral health to provide the best care for our patients.”

It is more urgent than ever to Know Your OQ™ to understand the links between oral health and overall health and to maintain proper oral hygiene. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on oral care habits. A study published in the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry found that the frequency of toothbrushing, use of dental services, and self-perceived need for dental treatment significantly decreased among adolescents during the pandemic. And although the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, a recent OnePoll survey found that 22 percent of adults in the UK now go more than three days without brushing their teeth. The need for improved oral health literacy is clear: the same survey found that more than a quarter of adults do not think that poor oral health could lead to wider health complications.

In addition to Know Your OQ™, Colgate’s efforts include groundbreaking research studies, a new accelerator challenge with Enactus, product innovation and advancements in connected health technology, and scholarships that support diversity within the dental profession.

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