Attention Parents: Do you constantly struggle with getting your kids to brush their teeth every morning and evening? Is it difficult to monitor how long your child is brushing their teeth each time they brush or if they’re using the right brushing and flossing techniques? Are you concerned that poor dental care practices now may contribute to serious tooth decay and other health-related problems, not just today, but for the rest of your child’s life?
According to a 2000 report by then-United States Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, 24% of children ages 2 to 4 had some tooth decay (due, in large part, to poor brushing practices), while 53% of children ages 6 to 8 had signs of decay; the report warned that, in the short term, poor oral health may affect a child’s ability to learn, speak properly, and develop self-esteem, while long-term poor oral health may cause adulthood problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Don’t worry! Help is one the way!
To combat this epidemic of childhood tooth decay, the American Ad Council has teamed up with the Partnership For Healthy Lives, Healthy Mouths to develop 2x2min.org, a public service campaign aimed primarily at the parents of young children. The PSA tries to show that, if parents spend just 2 minutes, twice a day making sure their children brush their teeth properly, it can help save kids from a lifetime of tooth pain.
The Ad Council and The Partnership For Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives also want to encourage children to brush their teeth for the appropriate amount of time by giving them something to watch while they do it; by simply going to the 2min2x website, kids can watch a number of two minute-long Cartoon Network and My Kazoo videos on computers, tablets, or smartphones. Though none of the videos are directly related to oral health or teeth brushing, 2min2x is hoping that the content will keep young ones preoccupied while they dutifully scrub away at their pearly whites, and also alleviate the need for parents to monitor their kid’s brushing time with a stopwatch. (Or, as my mom used to do, by counting!)
The 2x2min.org website also has other great resources for parents, such as:
- A downloadable “Weekly Brushing Checklist” PDF to help keep kids – and parents – on track.
- Helpful “Tooth To-Dos” for parents, such as how much toothpaste kids should use, and how to select the right toothbrush for your child.
- Informative videos explaining what parents can expect at their toddler’s first visit to the dentist, as well as tutorials on good brushing and flossing techniques.
- An easy-to-understand guide about the benefits of fluoride.
- An interactive chart explaining how children’s teeth change over time.
- Accessible information about teething, baby tooth decay, thumb sucking, and child nutrition.
- An optional text messaging service that sends 2 texts per day for 5 days to remind parents to keep up with their child’s brushing routine (Message and data rates may apply.)
About The Partnership For Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives
The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives is dedicated to improving children’s oral health, and believes that no child should have to suffer or endure pain as a result of untreated dental disease or conditions. The Partnership’s mission is to inform parents and children about ways to protect their own health through effective oral disease prevention practices.