New Study: Parents Across the Country Struggling to Make Oral Health a Priority for Their Kids

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July 24th, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS –– More parents report that getting their kids to floss or brush their teeth is more challenging than getting their kids to make the bed or to complete their homework on time. This, according to a recent national survey conducted by Delta Dental. The Children’s Oral Health Survey indicates that many children are not following recommended guidelines of brushing their teeth for two minutes twice daily and flossing once a day, potentially leading to oral health problems. 78 percent of the parents surveyed confess that their child’s oral health is not as good as it could be, with 64 percent disclosing that their child currently has oral health issues, including cavities (31 percent).

“Long-term oral health is rooted in early intervention and education. Getting kids excited about their oral health helps create a lifelong commitment to having a healthy mouth,” said Dr. Mary Johnson, Vice President of Dental Services at Delta Dental of Minnesota.

The survey found that most parents are more concerned with their child’s oral health than they are their own oral health. 29 percent of parents say they made unplanned trips to the dentist in the past year, and 29 percent also reported that their daughter or son has missed at least some school in the past 12 months because of an oral health issue.

“As summer breezes by and parents begin the back-to-school planning process, I encourage families to make oral health a part of their preparation. A simple way to get your kids excited about oral health is to purchase a toothbrush timer and a new toothbrush for the start of the school year,” said Dr. Johnson.

Delta Dental of Minnesota encourages parents to schedule regular dental check-ups as a part of a child’s preventive oral health routine to protect against absent school days and unplanned visits to the dentist’s chair. Visit our website for parent resources on oral health.![press-logo-ddmn]

About the survey

The Children’s Oral Health Survey was conducted between December 13 and December 28, 2017, among a nationally representative sample of 1,322 parents of children ages 12 and under. The margin of error is +/- 2.7 percent.

Delta Dental of Minnesota

Delta Dental of Minnesota is an independent, nonprofit health services company that serves the oral health needs of Minnesota and North Dakota residents. Since 1969, Delta Dental of Minnesota has accomplished this mission by providing the best access across the state to oral health care through affordable dental plans. Delta Dental of Minnesota is an authorized licensee of the Delta Dental Plans Association of Oak Brook, Illinois. To learn more, visit