May 2020 Volume LV Number 3


Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives

September 2012 Volume XLVIII Number 5

I am thrilled to announce that our national public awareness advertising campaign on children’s oral health has officially launched! With 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 that’s resonating with the lay public, and therefore, timing for this campaign couldn’t be better.
The 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 the children themselves, simple ways to have a significant and lasting impact on children’s 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. 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 of children brush their teeth twice a day or more.
The goal of this Partnership is to improve oral health in America and create a comprehensive communications program to raise oral health awareness among the low-income population of Caucasians, African Americans and Hispanics, specifically, parents of children aged 0-12, whose household income is less than $40,000. AAPD has served on the executive council from the onset and committed $500,000 to this campaign.
The Partnership joined with the Ad Council on a new nationwide multimedia campaign nationwide designed to encourage parents and caregivers to modify their children’s oral health behaviors through lowcost, preventive strategies. 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.
Campaign media partners include Sesame Workshop, Dream- Works, Cartoon Network, My Kazoo! and others, and the ads were developed pro bono by leading advertising agencies.
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. We know that a single three-year campaign alone will not solve the oral health literacy problem, but we are certain that this first step is an essential start to addressing this complex issue.
I want to thank AAPD President Dr. Joel Berg as well as Dr. Mario Ramos, one of our national spokespersons, for their time and commitment to this campaign by participating in countless broadcast and print media opportunities. We encourage everyone to access all of the marketing materials we have available on the campaign, which can be found on the AAPD website, as well at I trust that all members will share our excitement and view this campaign as the first major step in our long-term goal of good oral health for all of our citizens.