More than Half of Parents Care More about Their Child’s Dental Health than Their Nutrition

BY Rachel Cagle
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Parenting can sometimes feel like an uphill marathon, particularly when it comes to enforcing proper oral care habits with your child. According to a recent national survey from Delta Dental, parents are more likely to say getting their child to floss regularly (45%) or brush their teeth (37%) is challenging than they are about getting their child to make the bed (30%) or to complete homework on time (25%).

The Children's Oral Health Survey indicates that many of our nation's offspring 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. The majority of parents (78%) confess that their child's oral health isn't as good as it could be, with 64% disclosing that their child currently has oral health issues, including cavities (31%).

According to AudienceSCAN, 10.8% of U.S. adults are Potential Dentist Switchers. The majority (24.3%) are ages 25 to 34 and 60.5% have children under the age of 18.

"In the national survey from Delta Dental, parents share that their child's oral health is a priority over their own," said Joe Dill, DDS, MBA, Delta Dental Plans Association's vice president of dental science. "Let's turn that concern inward. By showing our children we value our own healthy smile, we can help them to develop positive attitudes toward preventive oral care practices that can impact a lifetime."

The intended health and wellness purchases by Potential Dentist Switchers covered in AudienceSCAN show these consumers could stand to make some changes themselves. This year, 38.9% plan to pay for dental fillings, crowns, bridges or root canals and 12.4% plan to get their teeth whitened.

Child's oral health on parents' radar

Concerned with raising a happy and healthy child, what is top of mind with parents? The Delta Dental survey reveals that parents worry more about their child's oral health (39%) on a daily basis than they do about school performance (25%) or physical activity (24%).

In fact, parents are more likely to say their child's oral health (73%) is extremely important than they are about their youngster's diet or nutrition (66%) and even their own oral health (61%).

Back-​to-​school dental screenings

Dr. Dill also reminds parents that the new school year is fast approaching and several states mandate dental screening certificates for children to be enrolled in school.

He also recommends scheduling regular dental check-​ups as a part of a child's preventive oral health routine to protect against missing school during the academic year for unplanned visits to the dentist's chair.

According to the Delta Dental survey, 29% of parents whose child is in school say that their daughter or son has missed at least some school in the past 12 months because of an oral health issue.

Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, Potential Dentist Switchers were the most receptive to TV advertisements. In that time, 70.2% took action after seeing a TV commercial. Nearly 66% were driven to action by ads and/​or coupons received via direct mail. Also, Potential Dentist Switchers are 44% more likely than other adults to take action after seeing pre-​roll video ads.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.