One year ago, the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives announced a campaign to encourage parents to promote good oral hygiene habits in their children. The Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign received more than $33 million in free ad time and space donations from TV, print, outdoor and digital media outlets. The widespread publicity of the campaign urged parents to encourage their children to brush twice a day for two minutes to avoid tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.
The motto, “2min2x,” is used to encourage kids to take precautionary efforts to avoid painful procedures in the future. Preventative measures, like brushing every day, using alcohol-free mouthwash and flossing, can even make it easier for kids to go to the dentist, as they won’t have to fear cavity treatments.
According to the Ad Council study conducted one year after the start of the campaign, more than 50 percent of parents said they had heard or seen the PSAs.
The survey noted a significant increase in the number of parents who reported that their child brushes at least twice a day, compared with prior to the start of the campaign. Specifically, the study showed that 55 percent of English speaking parents, up from 48 percent; and 77 percent of Spanish speaking parents, up from 69 percent, reported better routines since 2012.
Parents who participated in the study also noted that their kids were brushing for at least two minutes each time – 64 percent of English-speaking parents and 77 percent of Spanish speaking parents, up from 60 percent and 69 percent, respectively.
“We are extremely pleased with these results and with the overall impact of our campaign. Many dental problems can be avoided through simple changes in routines, and we’re seeing now how receptive Americans are to this message,” Gary Price, Secretary and CEO of the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation said in a press release. “Through our collective efforts together with the Ad Council, we have become the foremost voice on the issue of improving children’s oral health nationwide.”
More parents are playing a role in their children’s regular routines as well. In fact, 5 percent more of English speaking parents reported being good or very good about making sure kids are brushing for at least two minutes as well as twice a day. Spanish speaking parents reported a 4 percent increase.
“These are some of the strongest survey results we’ve seen after only one year of a campaign,” Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council, said. “This is the first campaign in the Ad Council’s 71-year history to address oral health, and we are proud to be part of such an important effort to improve the lives of millions of parents and children.”
The Ad Council plans to continue its efforts in the coming months as well with the addition of mobile tips and an app that helps both parents and children learn more about oral health. The 2min2x website is also an interactive resource with cartoon characters, infographics and tips for kids of all ages. An in-school education program is set to offer low-income families information, as they are the most effected by oral health issues.
As more research surfaces showing the link between poor oral health and pre-term, low-birth rate for pregnant women, an increased risk of HPV and dementia, now is more important than ever to pay attention to the wellbeing of your mouth.