Successful first year for Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign

In just its first year the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign is making serious headway in improving children’s oral health habits: More parents are reporting that their children are brushing regularly, according to a survey commissioned by the Ad Council.

The campaign targeting parents and caregivers of children promotes easy ways to help prevent dental decay. For example, the campaign’s website and widespread multimedia ads emphasize the importance of brushing for two minutes twice a day. The website provides two-minute videos to watch while brushing.

Patterson Companies Chairman and CEO Scott Anderson, who serves as chairman of the Dental Trade Alliance (DTA) Board of Directors, acknowledged the wide-scale support for this important oral health awareness initiative: “Every year many organizations in our great industry step up to strengthen various oral health outreach programs. While every measure of support continues to be much needed and deeply appreciated, it cannot compare to the impact we can make as a dental community. Collectively we have a louder voice and a stronger hand reaching out to improve health and enhance the well-being of our communities.”

DTA President and CEO Gary Price sheds more light on the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign and takeaways to build on for the future:

How did the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign get started and how long will it run?

The Kids’ Oral Health campaign is a collaboration between the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives (consisting of 37 organizations from across the dental community). The campaign was launched in August 2012 and we expect that it will run in its current form for at least two more years.

How has the dental community responded?

The dental community has embraced the campaign with fervor. Part of the tremendous response from the public is due to the work of providers who are spreading the campaign message in their communities. The Dental Trade Alliance, representing the entire dental industry, also was a motivating force behind the creation of the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives.

How does this campaign pave the way for future outreach efforts?

This campaign provides the foundation for oral health literacy. Improving oral health literacy is essential to solving the crisis we have in oral health. The messages in this campaign may seem simple, but their impact will be felt for years to come. Most mouth disease is preventable, using steps that can easily become part of everyone’s life routine.

What would you like to say to those helping to make this campaign successful?

We are proud to be a part of such a broad partnership. The fact that we have 37 members in the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives shows that the entire dental community can come together as one to help people understand easy ways to improve and maintain their oral health.