Slovenia-wide prevention campaign shown to improve children's oral health

Clean teeth and healthy food

31. 5. 2005

Every year, the best of nearly 700 elementary school classes and just under 50 groups from kindergartens all over Slovenia receive awards for constant care of clean and healthy teeth. At fun regional events, children who have been taking care of their oral hygiene all year under the watchful eye of dental workers receive symbolic awards, and the country’s top-ranked groups win a major excursion sponsored by Lek Cosmetics in order to encourage continued oral health. In a little over two decades the campaign, entitled Clean Teeth and Healthy Food, which was organized by the Stomatology Section of the Slovenian Medical Association in cooperation with the general sponsor Lek, a new Sandoz company, and now also with Lek Cosmetics, has achieved enviable results in children’s oral health.

The concept manager, Tatjana Leskošek Denišlič M.S., the representative of the dental workers, who as part of the prevention campaign check the oral hygiene of randomly selected children from the participating classes and groups three times a month, said upon today’s announcement of the conclusion of this year’s campaign that in the past two decades the percentage of twelve-year-olds with no cavities in Slovenia has risen to 40 percent. The average number of affected teeth has fallen from more than 6 to 1.8, which ranks Slovenia among the best countries in Europe. Slovene dentists agree that these competitions, in which over 90 percent of all elementary schools in the country participate, as well as an annually increasing number of kindergartens, have made a significant contribution to the achieving of such results.

The dental check-ups are held for participating classes and groups every year. The check-ups of randomly selected children from the classes and groups are not announced in advance. The children receive award points or amusing stickers which indicate that their teeth were well cleaned, fairly well cleaned or not very well cleaned. The stickers are entered into colorful tables which are located in visible spots. Parents are also invited to participate in the campaign, assisting children under nine with their oral care. At the end of the school year the children receive awards at events which feature musicians, magicians and other entertainers.

Cvetana Rijavec, Head of Lek Cosmetics, the main sponsor and a major Slovene manufacturer of oral hygiene products, stated that the campaign has been accompanied for more than twenty years not only by sponsorship, but also by the awareness that business can also help by providing appropriately designed products, the result of local know-how, which contribute to the quality of life. At Lek Cosmetics, oral hygiene products are developed in cooperation with the Stomatology Section of the Slovenian Medical Association, and this cooperation is further strengthened by participating in the Clean Teeth and Healthy Food campaign.

Lek, a new Sandoz company, is an international pharmaceutical company which operates as a business center on the markets of Central and Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe and the CIS region, and also markets its products successfully on the US market, in the EU and elsewhere around the world. Lek creates value through the development, manufacturing and sales of pharmaceutical products, active pharmaceutical ingredients and biopharmaceutical products. Lek employs about 4,186 people in various regions and achieved total sales of USD 746.5 million in 2004. For further information please consult

Sandoz, a Novartis company, is a leading global supplier of high-quality generic pharmaceuticals. Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, Sandoz is a Retail Generics company operating also two Business Units with specific strategic focus – Industrial Products and Biopharmaceuticals. In 2004, Sandoz achieved sales of USD 3.045 billion, employs about 13,400 people and operate in over 120 countries around the world.

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in pharmaceuticals and consumer health. In 2004, the Group’s business achieved sales of USD 28.2 billion and a net income of USD 5.8 billion. The Group invested approximately USD 4.2 billion in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ about 81,400 people and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For further information, please consult

This press release contains statements and conclusions based on projections of Lek’s future business operations. These estimates are derived from the best information currently available. In case these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results could prove different from those projected.

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    For further information contact:
    Jana Beravs Zavadlav
    Lek Cosmetics
    Phone: + 386 1 580 29 91
    Fax: + 386 1 568 11 94

Špela Jurak
Corporate Communications,
Lek pharmaceuticals d.d.
Phone: 01 580 22 43
Fax: 01 580 24 32

prim. Mag. Tatjana Leskošek Denišlič, dr. stom.
Stomatology Section of the Slovenian Medical Association
Phone:+ 386 31 484 294