Campaign Aims to Educate Parents About Oral Health

Dentistry Today


The Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) and UnitedHealthcare are releasing radio and TV public service announcements (PSAs) to help parents keep their kids’ teeth healthy. Although tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease for children and teens, many Americans aren’t aware of the steps they can take at home to prevent tooth decay, the CDHP says.

Featuring helpful tips from CDHP executive director Meg Booth, the PSAs will be distributed to radio, broadcast, and online media outlets in 30-second and 60-second formats. The PSAs direct parents and caregivers to CDHP’s website, which offers videos, fact sheets, and other resources for educating families and policymakers.

The CDHP reports that one in six preschoolers has experienced at least one cavity, and many Americans aren’t aware of the steps they can take at home to prevent cavities. Also, a survey by UnitedHealthcare showed that just 31% of Americans correctly recognized that most medical professionals recommend children have their first dental visit by their first birthday.  

Supporting parents’ efforts at home can keep kids healthier and avoid the pain, anxiety, and cost of treating tooth decay. Young children with advanced decay are typically treated under general anesthesia, which also is costly. At Colorado’s largest children’s hospital, about $40 million was spent in a single year on treating early childhood caries. 

“Tooth decay can be painful, and it also makes it difficult for children to eat, sleep, learn, and socialize,” said Booth. “The good news is that it is a preventable disease. That’s why we’re partnering with UnitedHealthcare on these PSAs to help support families in encouraging important oral health habits, starting at birth and continuing through adulthood.”

“Maintaining proper oral health matters more than just keeping a sparkling smile. It’s also important for good overall health, especially for children,” said Tom Wiffler, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits. “We are collaborating with the Children’s Dental Health Project to share this important information about ways to help children, parents, and all Americans adopt healthier oral habits.”

Related Articles

Parents Lack Pediatric Oral Health Awareness

Most Children on Medicaid Lack Dental Services

Respect the Primary Teeth