In conjunction with National Dental Hygiene Month in October, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the I-Smile program urge Iowa parents to encourage their children to take part in the ‘2min2x’ campaign. The initiative, launched by a coalition of dental organizations, entertainment companies, and the Ad Council, is the first national campaign focusing on children’s oral health.
“A survey by the Ad Council found that less than half (44 percent) of parents report their child brushes their teeth at least twice a day,” said IDPH Public Health State Dental Director Dr. Bob Russell, DDS, MPH. “The 2min2x campaign encourages and helps kids to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day.” The 2min2x website features two-minute videos starring favorite cartoon characters or two-minute songs they can watch and listen to while brushing their teeth.
Kids who brush their teeth at least two minutes each time, two times a day, have healthier teeth, good breath, fewer cavities, and avoid painful dental problems. Parents of young children can encourage good teeth hygiene by:
- Encouraging kids to brush with fluoride toothpaste.
- Using a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste for children ages 2 to 6 and slightly more when they’re older.
- Teaching them to spit out the toothpaste when they’re done so they don’t swallow it.
- Helping kids place the toothbrush at an angle against their gums.
- Helping them to brush the front, back, and top teeth.
- Making sure they move the brush back and forth, gently, in short strokes.
Children younger than age 2 should just use a soft toothbrush and a little water; no toothpaste is necessary. In combination with regular dental visits starting at age 1, brushing twice a day can help keep young mouths healthy. Other children’s oral health tips are offered through I-Smile at www.ismiledentalhome.iowa.gov.
Parents can learn more about the 2min2x campaign and all its resources and tools at www.2min2x.org/. Media outlets wishing to take part in the campaign can visit http://2min2x.adcouncil.org/.