3:57pm

Thu August 23, 2012
Health and Welfare

Health Campaign Urges Cavity Prevention

Kids should brush their teeth twice a day for two whole minutes at a time, a new public-service campaign urges. The “Kids’ Healthy Mouths” campaign includes TV spots, print ads, a website, social media messages and other materials, reports Jennifer LaRue Huget for The Washington Post.

Campaign materials point out that “dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease.” More than 16 million children across the United States suffer from it. In Kentucky, nearly 35 percent of third-grade students had untreated tooth decay, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's State Oral Health Profile shows. “The mouth is the gateway to a person’s overall health, and an unhealthy mouth can be linked to diabetes and even heart disease,” the campaign says. “In the U.S., oral disease causes kids to miss 51 million school hours and their parents to lose 25 million work hours annually. Additionally, oral disease disproportionately affects children from low-income families and these children have almost twice the number of decayed teeth that have not been treated by a dentist as compared to others in the general population.” The campaign includes a YouTube video channel on which there are videos that are each 120 seconds long. The goal is for kids to watch the videos while they’re brushing. 

Research has shown brushing two minutes at a time, twice a day, is the “optimal prevention brushing regimen,” because it “takes two minutes for the tooth enamel to uptake the fluoride” in toothpaste, said Maria Lopez Howell, consumer adviser for the American Dental Association. When enamel absorbs fluoride it makes the surface harder and more resistant to bacteria. Brushing for two minutes additionally removes plaque on teeth. (Read more)