Many kids run a little water on their toothbrush to trick their parents into thinking they brushed their teeth. But these days, more kids are skipping the subterfuge and getting the job done. The Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives report increases in parents who say their children brush for 2 minutes twice a day.
There has been an increase from 48% in 2012 to 61% in 2015 in English-speaking parents who say their child brushes twice a day, with a 4% increase in those whose child brushes for 2 minutes each time. Among Spanish-speaking parents, the number of children reported brushing twice a day rose from 63% in 2012 to 78% in 2015.
As a coalition of 36 dental organizations, the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives attributes these increases to its Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign, launched in 2012. In this program, the Partnership teamed up with the Ad Council to teach parents, caregivers, and children the importance of oral health.
“The effect of the Ad Council public service announcements has been significant for children’s oral health and the development of good brushing habits for a lifetime,” said Ken Wallis, DDS, president of the California Dental Association, which is a member of the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives.
More than $119 million in donated and earned media across the country has resulted in 9.4 billion impressions in television, radio, print, outdoor, and digital public service announcements in both English and Spanish. The program also teamed up with Scholastic to deliver children’s oral health materials to 190,000 teachers nationwide, reaching more than 5.7 million children.
The centerpiece of the program is 2min2x.org, where children can watch 2-minute video clips from favorite shows like Wishenpoof, and Adventure Time, along with kid-friendly music videos from mykazootv.com. The site also offers information for parents, a brushing checklist, and the Toothsavers app, which turns brushing into a game.
The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives additionally offers educational materials to dentists to help them teach their patients about the importance of brushing for 2 minutes twice a day. These materials include fact sheets about oral health, posters, videos, and graphics that can be downloaded for display in offices and on social media.