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Ad Council campaign shows success in survey

Turns out, that two minutes paid off.

More parents report they are regularly monitoring and maintaining their child's oral health, which means more children are regularly brushing their teeth. This is according to a survey from the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives, which one year ago Aug. 29 launched Kids' Healthy Mouths, a campaign of public service announcements designed to teach parents, caregivers and children about the importance of oral health.

The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives was formed by the American Dental Association and 35 other groups in the dental community, and it and partnered with the Ad Council to produce the campaign. The English and Spanish-language TV, radio, print, outdoor and digital 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 prevent future oral pain.

"Brushing for two minutes now can save your child from severe tooth pain later," the videos say. The videos can be found at 2min2x.org, which also includes music, information about children's teeth and other resources.

"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.

More than 1,000 English-speaking and more than 500 Spanish-speaking people were surveyed. According to the study administered by the Ad Council:

• more than 50 percent of parents surveyed have seen or heard the PSAs;

• more parents in 2013 reported 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 last year, and 77 percent of Spanish-speaking parents this year, up from 69 percent in 2012);

• parents in 2013 were also more likely to report their child brushes for at least two minutes at a time (64 percent of English-speaking parents in 2013, up from 60 percent last year, and 77 percent of Spanish-speaking parents in this year, up from 69 percent in 2012);

• an increased number of English and Spanish-speaking parents reported being "good" or "very good" at making sure their child brushes at least twice a day (65 percent of English-speaking parents this year, up from 60 percent in 2012, and 77 percent of Spanish-speaking parents in 2013, up from 73 percent last year) 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).

Since the Kids' Healthy Mouths campaign launched, it has been embraced by media outlets throughout the country, which have donated more than $33 million in free ad time and space. There have been more than 1.3 million visitors to the website and the campaign's message has yielded partnerships with influential parent-focused websites, endorsements from celebrity moms and strong support from the dental community.

"We are extremely pleased with these results and with the overall impact of our campaign. Many dental problems can be avoided through simple changes in routines, and we're seeing now how receptive Americans are to this message," said Gary Price, secretary and CEO of the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation. "Through our collective efforts together with the Ad Council, we have become the foremost voice on the issue of improving children's oral health nationwide."

The campaign has gone further in recent months—offering children's oral health tips to parents on their cell phones through text 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.