May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


Groundbreaking Multimedia Public Service Campaign Designed to Promote Oral Health Among Children Reaches More than 27 Million People

Venture is the First in the Ad Council’s 70-Year History to Address Oral Health

November 2012 Volume XLVIII Number 6

Announced in July of last year, and launched in August 2012, AAPD and The Dental Trade Alliance, along with 35 other groups in the dental community, formed a first-of-its-kind national coalition to teach parents and caregivers as well as children themselves simple ways to have a significant and lasting impact on childrens oral health. The newly-formed Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives was founded on the belief that no child should be in pain and suffer broader health issues or endure the social stigma and lack of opportunity resulting from untreated dental diseases and conditions. The campaign is directed primarily at parents and caregivers in low-income families, and stresses how important it is for their children to brush their teeth for two minutes twice daily.

Based on the extensive previous media coverage in the New York Times, "Today Show", "NBC Nightly News" and in media outlets throughout the country on the increasing rates of preschoolers with dental decay, clearly this is a topic thats resonating with the lay public, and therefore, timing for this campaign couldnt be better.

According to AAPD President Dr. Joel H. Berg, "This first-of-its-kind campaign unifies dozens of dental organizations around a common message and raises the awareness of children and their parents about the importance of oral health, which is critical, and desperately needs attention. The campaign delivers that message in a simple and fun way, and I believe that the reach of the campaign will ultimately change the oral health behaviors of millions of children in meaningful ways."

The goal of the Partnership is to improve oral health in America and raise oral health awareness among the low-income population of Caucasians, African Americans and Hispanics, specifically: parents and caregivers of children aged 0-12, whose household income is less than $40,000 per year. AAPD has served on the executive council from the onset and committed $500,000 to this campaign.

In time for back-to-school season, The Partnership joined with the Ad Council on Aug. 14, 2012, to announce the historic campaign nationwide designed to encourage parents and caregivers to modify their childrens oral health behaviors through low-cost, preventive strategies. Ultimately, the Partnership wants to reach the entire population in North America to help them understand the critical importance of oral health and its relationship to total health.

Dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease with more than 16 million kids suffering from untreated tooth decay in the U.S. The mouth is the gateway to a persons overall health, andan unhealthy mouth can be associated with obesity, diabetes and even heart disease. 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.

Despite the high rates of this disease in children, research shows that many parents lack basic information about oral health. In fact, according to a survey of parents, conducted by the Ad Council, less than half (44 percent) of parents in the U.S. report that their child brushes their teeth twice a daor more. While 60 percent of parents with children ages 12 or younger report that they do not regularly help their child brush their teeth or check to make sure theyve done a good job. Additionally, close to one-third (31 percent) report arguing with their kids at least once a week about brushing their teeth. Parents also report that on average their child wastes over two hours each day on things that are silly or unnecessary, such as playing video games, texting or watching online videos. The new campaign notes that some of this time could instead be focused on improving their oral health.

Created pro bono by ad agencies Grey Group and Wing in New York, the new Kids’ Healthy Mouths public service campaign is aimed at parents and caregivers throughout the U.S., particularly low-income families, and stresses the importance of brushing for two minutes twice a day. Campaign media partners include Sesame Workshop, DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, My Kazoo! and many others.


"The messages in this campaign may seem simple, but their impact will be felt for years to come," said Gary Price, secretary and CEO of the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation. "Most mouth disease is preventable using steps that can easily become a part of every childs life routine. We are proud to be a part of such a broad partnership to help parents and caregivers learn how easy it is to protect their children, give them healthy mouths and help them lead healthy lives."


New English and Spanish-language television and radio Public Service Advertisements (PSAs) demonstrate the importance of brushing twice a day for two minutes and provide parents and caregivers with resources through a special campaign website (which is also available on mobile devices). The campaign website also includes a section where parents and children can watch entertaining videos and listen to music—all two minutes in length— while the children are brushing their teeth.

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 thait only takes two minutes, twice a day to help maintain a healthy mouth and prevent future oral pain. An additional English and Spanish-language PSA features Elmo from Sesame Street singing to kids, reminding them to "Brushy Brush" their teeth every daas part of Sesame Streets "Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me" campaign.

The new campaign also includes a PSA featuring Tooth the Tooth Fairy from Rise of the Guardians, the upcoming film from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. Campaign media partners, Cartoon Network and My Kazoo!, donated snippets of videos and songs for the site. A series of social media strategies will also be implemented to engage parents and children, including messaging on Facebook and Twitter and a dedicated YouTube channel,, where the two-minute content will be featured.

"The prevalence of oral disease and its impact on youth in our country is astounding," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "We are proud to join this wonderful collaboration to provide parents and children with simple and fun things they can do to improve childrens oral health, and I’m delighted that so many of our partners in the advertising, media and entertainment industries have come forward to lend their talent, support and resources."

About the survey: The Ad Council survey was conducted online by LightSpeed Research June 1925 with a sample of 601 English-speaking parents of children ages 0-12, from across the nation.

On launch day, the Ad Council distributed the new PSAs to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide, whereby the ads will

air and run in advertising time and space entirely donated by the media. Both Berg and AAPD national spokesperson Dr. Mario Ramos participated in the campaigns satellite radio and TV media tour in which they and other spokespeople coordinated more than 37 media interviews across English and Spanish TV, radio, print and digital outlets discussing our new Ad Council Campaign.

Commenting on the satellite media tour, Berg said, "I felt that the six-hour satellite media tour was extremely well-organized, especially considering that each interview was only minutes apart. I mean, youre doing a radio interview in Saint Paul and then three minutes later youre fielding an interview

in Sacramento. Incredibly, there were also English interviews interspersed with those in Spanish, and it flowed very nicely.

"As expected, roughly 90 percent of the questions we received from our TV and radio interviews had to do with general oral health questions. The message that all spokespersons tried to impart in each interview is that its imperative we get peoples attention on this unique and first-of-its-kind campaign, and most important, that we connect with consumers to make oral health top of mind!"


One of the campaigns many media highlights included Ramos’ appearance with Grover from Sesame Street on Good Afternoon America on Wednesday, August 22. He was featured discussing the campaign and helped host a childs teeth-brushing party with Grover and co-hosts Lara Spencer and Sam Champion.


"I was especially thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Grover from Sesame Street and appear on Good Afternoon America on the ABC national network,"

said Ramos. "It is so important that we get this message out to as many parents and caregivers as possible, and this was an excellent opportunity to do so. It is a pleasure to represent the AAPD, and I feel very proud that our leadership took the lead to become a significant contributor and partner in this important initiative for the sake of the many children who suffer from dental disease in our country."

Also, Good Afternoon America promoted the segment on their Twitter account. 



Other campaign media coverage highlights include:

New York Times print exclusive in the Business section on launch day

Print circulation 1,586,757

Washington Post blog placement on "The Checkup" the week of the launch

Blog shared over 2,400 times on Twitter and 6,600 times on Facebook

Good Afternoon America segment featuring campaign spokesperson Ramos and Sesames Muppet Grover

Audience 1,484,273

English and Spanish-language Satellite Media Tour/Radio Media Tour featuring Berg, Beth Truett, Ramos and Dr. Maria Lopez-Howell

Generated 56 airings and 27million+ impressions as of August 24

Included four national radio hits

English and Spanish-language multimedia news release (MNR)

As of August 21, the English MNR received over 86 million impressions and the Spanish announcement received over 135 million

Visits to

On Aug. 14, launch day, http:// received 3,157 visits, with an average time on the site of over four minutes!

Since the site launched, http:// has received 11,663 visits, with an average time on the site of four minutes

AAPD social media impact:

In total, the AAPD Facebook update reached 10,909 Facebook users

A +336.2 percent increase over our average posts

We had 218 people sharing or interacting with the post directly

A +419.0 percent increase over our average posts


About the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives



The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives is a coalition of the leading organizations in the field of oral health. The Partnership is committed to improve childrens oral health so that they can develop into healthy, productive adults. The Coalition shares the view that no child should be in pain and suffer broader health issues or endure the social stigma and lack of opportunity resulting from untreated dental diseases and conditions. The Coalitions primary mission is to teach parents and caregivers, as well as the children themselves, to take control of their own health through oral disease prevention.

Members of the Partnership include: Academy of General Dentistry, Alliance of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Periodontology, American Association for Dental Research, American Association of Endodontists, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Association of Orthodontists, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, American Association of Women Dentists, American College of Prosthodontists, American Dental Assistants Association, American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, American Dental Hygienists Association, Americas Dentists Care Foundation, Association of State & Territorial Dental Directors, California Dental Association, Childrens Dental Health Project, Connecticut Coalition for Oral Health, Dental Trade Alliance Foundation, DentaQuest Foundation, Hispanic Dental Association, Maine Dental Access Coalition, Medicaid/SCHIP Dental Association, National Association of Dental Laboratories, National Childrens Oral Health Foundation, National Dental Association, National Network for Oral Health Access, Oral Health America, Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention, Santa Fe Group and the Society of American Indian Dentists.