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Three out of Four Parents Admit Their Kids Forget to Brush their Teeth

In an effort to help parents better understand why ignoring dental health can have serious consequences, and educate families about good dental health habits, the Ad Council and The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives created new public service ads for the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign. The new ads are humorous depictions of life lessons, which make the point that while parenting can be tricky at times, getting kids to brush for two minutes, twice a day can be easier than most other things parents will try to teach their children.

The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives is a coalition of more than 35 leading dental health organizations, who together with the Ad Council, believe every child deserves a healthy smile. The mouth is the gateway to a person's overall health, and an unhealthy mouth can be associated with obesity, diabetes and even heart disease. Additionally, while dental disease impacts all children, it disproportionately affects children from low-income families and minorities.

“The initial success of Kids’ Healthy Mouths shows that we can positively impact the future health of children, but we have so much more work to do, “ said Gary Price, CEO and president of the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation. “Most mouth disease is preventable using steps that can easily become a part of every child’s life routine. The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives is proud to work with the Ad Council to share the message that a healthy mouth can contribute to a healthy life.”

Created pro bono by ad agency Grey New York, the new ads encourage parents and caregivers to make sure their children brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. The new English and Spanish-language ads direct parents and caregivers to the campaign website, 2min2x.org, where parents and children can watch entertaining videos—all two minutes in length—while brushing their teeth. Campaign media partners, including Cartoon Network and myKaZootv donated snippets of videos for the site.

Since its launch in 2012, more than 1.7 million people have visited 2min2x.org and the English and Spanish-language ads have received more than $64 million in donated media across TV, radio, print, web and outdoor outlets. Additionally, a 2013 Ad Council survey showed that in one year, English-speaking parents reported that their children were significantly more likely to brush twice a day (55 percent in 2013, up from 48 percent in 2012) and significantly more likely to brush for two minutes each time (64 percent in 2013, up from 60 percent in 2012). Spanish-speaking parents report improvement as well, with an increase in those saying that their child brushes at least twice a day (66 percent in 2013, up from 63 percent in 2012) and significantly more reporting their kids are brushing for two minutes (77 percent in 2013, up from 69 percent in 2012).

In addition to the new ads, the campaign is kicking off its first video contest leveraging Zooppa.com, the world’s leading crowd sourced marketing platform for producing creative content. The contest will allow amateur and professional video makers to create their own videos showing parents trying to give important advice in just two minutes, leveraging the campaign strategy and using the hashtag #BrushRules. Zooppa has a creative community of 270,000 talented filmmakers and designers. The winner of the contest will be announced in early January 2015. A $20,000 cash prize will be awarded to the contest winners and early submitters can enter the contest in four weeks to receive up to $5,000. The final videos will be reviewed by creative directors at ad agency Grey New York.

The Ad Council is also launching a mobile program in-house on behalf of Kids’ Healthy Mouths that will engage parents and their kids in a fun and creative brushing challenge that supports the campaign’s main goal of encouraging parents to make sure their children brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. The campaign also includes a mobile gaming app called Toothsavers, which has had more than 120,000 downloads since January of 2014.