At Mars Wrigley, the world we want tomorrow is one filled with better moments and more smiles. We seek to foster moments of connection, caring and celebration, and today the Mars Wrigley Foundation is pleased to announce $1.5 million in grant funding to continue to provide oral care treatment and education to underserved communities. Since 2010, the Mars Wrigley Foundation has reached more than 6.5 million individuals through its Healthier Smiles grant program. This partnership is an example of our purpose in action, supporting global ongoing efforts to improve the mouth health of millions of people around the world with our sugar-free gum portfolio.
For over a century, Mars Wrigley has been committed to making people smile. It all started with the first chewing gum created by William Wrigley Jr. in the 1890s, and today is one of our most beloved products. When William founded the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, what he didn’t know at the time was the oral care benefits of chewing sugar-free gum – which are today recognized and supported by regulatory authorities, an increasing number of governments, FDI World Dental Federation and nearly 20 national dental associations worldwide.
Today, people enjoy our sugar-free gum products including brands Orbit, Extra and Freedent, balancing their enjoyment of our other treats and snacks. There’s a Mars Wrigley product for every better moment – from freshening and oral care, to enjoyment and ‘treating’ yourself.
Many people aren’t aware that chewing sugar-free gum can provide several potential mouth health and wellness benefits. Keeping our mouths and smiles healthy has become increasingly important in a time when the WHO reports that global rates of tooth decay continue to present a major public health concern, especially during the global pandemic. In fact, nearly one in five people shared they have been brushing their teeth less during the pandemic and visits to dentists have decreased by 15 to 20 percent compared to normal times. Mars Wrigley is proud to partner with the FDI World Dental Federation again this year as the organization raises awareness about this critical health and wellness trend.
As a 10-year partner in providing oral care to those with limited access, the Mars Wrigley Foundation will continue to fund Save The Children with a $700K commitment. Since 2011, Save the Children and the Mars Wrigley Foundation have reached 2.4 million children, parents, teachers and oral health workers, and have delivered over 500,000 oral health services in 6 countries.
Our Mars Wrigley Foundation grants have enabled national dental associations to provide treatment, education and screening for under-resourced populations. This year, seven dental organizations with significant global reach – including the U.S., Australia, China, Germany Ireland and New Zealand – were selected to continue the Foundation’s mission at a time when access to oral healthcare is challenged.
We are thrilled to continue our efforts to create happier, healthier smiles across the world by supporting our partners in their critically important work. This World Oral Health Day, we hope you enjoy some better moments and we wish you happy chewing to create more smiles.