Brushing teeth twice a day, two minutes at a time, is the way to prevent cavities, a new campaign advises

Kids should brush their teeth twice a day for two whole
minutes at a time, a new public-service campaign urges. The “Kids’ Healthy Mouths” campaign includes TV spots, print ads, a website, social media messages and other
materials, reports Jennifer LaRue Huget for The Washington Post.
Campaign materials point out that “dental decay is the most
common chronic childhood disease.” More than 16 million children across the
United States suffer from it. In Kentucky, nearly 35 percent of third-grade students had untreated tooth decay, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s State Oral Health Profile shows.
“The mouth is the gateway to a person’s overall health, and
an unhealthy mouth can be linked to diabetes and even heart disease,” the
campaign says. “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
The campaign includes a YouTube video channel on which there
are videos that are each 120 seconds long. The goal is for kids to watch the
videos while they’re brushing.
Research has shown brushing two minutes at a time, twice a
day, is the “optimal prevention brushing regimen,” because it “takes two minutes
for the tooth enamel to uptake the fluoride” in toothpaste, said Maria Lopez
Howell, consumer adviser for the American
Dental Association
. When enamel absorbs fluoride it makes the surface
harder and more resistant to bacteria. Brushing for two minutes additionally
removes plaque on teeth. (Read more)
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