08/30/2013

Kids' Healthy Mouths campaign shows success in survey


More parents report regularly monitoring and maintaining their child's oral health, therefore more children are regularly brushing, according to a survey administered by the Ad Council one year after the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign began.

Launched in August 2012 by the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives, the campaign has received tremendous media exposure through widespread TV, radio, print, outdoor and digital public service announcements (PSAs) in both English and Spanish. The PSAs poke fun at the myriad of inane things children spend their time doing and highlight that it only takes two minutes, twice a day to help maintain a healthy mouth and avoid future oral pain.

CDA and 35 other dental organizations make up the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives, which collaborated with the Ad Council to produce the three-year advertising campaign. In addition to partnering with the coalition, CDA is a key member of the executive council, which oversaw the development of the research-based messages.

“The progress of this campaign in our effort to improve children’s oral health habits has been substantial,” said CDA President Lindsey Robinson, DDS. “We are very happy with the results we’ve seen so far and the impact this campaign is having on parents and children.”

With a goal of reducing the prevalence of dental decay by motivating parents to promote good oral health habits with their kids, the campaign has, according to the recent survey, had the following impact:

  • More than 50 percent of parents surveyed have seen or heard the new Kids' Healthy Mouths PSAs.
  • Significantly more parents in 2013 report that their child brushes at least twice a day compared to before the campaign launched (55 percent of English-speaking parents in 2013, up from 48 percent in 2012, and 77 percent of Spanish-speaking parents in 2013, up from 69 percent in 2012).
  • Parents in 2013 were also more likely to report their child brushes for at least two minutes each time (64 percent of English-speaking parents in 2013, up from 60 percent in 2012, and 77 percent of Spanish-speaking parents in 2013, up from 69 percent in 2012).
  • An increased number of English- and Spanish-speaking parents report being "good" or "very good" at making sure their child brushes at least twice a day (65 percent of English-speaking parents in 2013, up from 60 percent in 2012, and 77 percent of Spanish-speaking parents in 2013, up from 73 percent in 2012) for two minutes each time (58 percent of English-speaking parents in 2013, up from 53 percent in 2012, and 79 percent of Spanish-speaking parents in 2013, up from 75 percent in 2012).

"These are some of the strongest survey results we've seen after only one year of a campaign. 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," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council.

Dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the United States, affecting 16.5 million children. Oral disease disproportionately affects children from low-income families, who have nearly double the number of cases of untreated dental decay as the general public.

Since the campaign launched, there have been more than 1.3 million visitors to the campaign website, 2min2x.org, which offers a collection of free, two-minute videos — featuring notable characters from children's shows and networks, including Sesame Street and Cartoon Network — that kids can watch while brushing. The campaign has also benefited from tremendous press coverage, partnerships with influential parent-focused websites, endorsements from celebrity moms and strong support from the dental community.

The campaign has gone further in recent months — offering children's oral health tips to parents on their cell phones via SMS messages. Parents can subscribe by texting "BRUSH" to 30364 or by visiting the homepage of 2min2x.org. In the upcoming months, the campaign will launch a new mobile game app for kids and their parents and a new national in-school oral health education program that aims to reach lower income and minority children and their families. English and Spanish language brochures will also be distributed to dental offices this fall. All of the multimedia PSAs were created pro bono by ad agencies Grey Group and Wing in New York.