February 01, 2001

As part of its on-going commitment to promote oral health in the Hispanic community, Colgate-Palmolive has announced that Myrka Dellanos will serve as the new spokesperson for Colgate toothpaste. Myrka Dellanos, one of Hispanic-America's top television personalities will support Colgate's efforts to educate the Hispanic community about the importance of oral health. The partnership will be formally announced as part of the launch dinner for new Colgate Total Plus Whitening toothpaste being held on Thursday, March 8,at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL.

"As a public figure and award-winning journalist, Myrka is the perfect role model who can help us deliver the message of proper oral health care to the Hispanic community," states Ricardo Martinez, Director of Hispanic Marketing for Colgate-Palmolive.

The Hispanic Dental Association (HDA), of which the Colgate-Palmolive Company is a founding supporter, has stated that the prevalence of oral disease is higher for Hispanics than for white non-Hispanics. According to the HDA, factors that may relate to oral disease are tobacco, alcohol consumption as well as dietary preferences.

Adds Myrka, "As a young mother, I am deeply concerned that ethnic and poor children suffer disproportionately from oral health problems. As the Hispanic spokesperson for Colgate toothpaste, I am looking forward to the opportunity to increase awareness about oral health and hygiene in our community and to help end the disparities that exist."

Oral Health Crisis

In his first-ever oral health report, the former US Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D. Ph.D called the spread of dental and oral disease a "silent epidemic" in this country. He described how economically disadvantaged and minority children are not getting the oral health care they need and deserve. Highlights of the report include:

§ Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease - five times more common than asthma. In poor communities, this number is even higher.

§ Almost 47 percent of all low-income Hispanics and African Americans have untreated tooth decay.

§ Inadequate education and limited access to dental professionals contributes to untreated tooth decay in more than one-third of all children from low-income families.

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