Maryland Dental Action Coalition Launches Spanish Language Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids Campaign
Dientes Sanos, Niños Sanos to educate Hispanic communities on the importance of oral health
In observation of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC) is expanding the Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids oral health literacy campaign by launching a Spanish language companion campaign, Dientes Sanos, Niños Sanos. This will include a nine-week Spanish language radio campaign that is intended to reach low-income Hispanic pregnant women and women with children under the age of six. The purpose of this campaign is to provide health messaging to reduce oral disease by increasing healthy behaviors, including tooth brushing and seeking early, preventive oral care.
According to a survey conducted by the Hispanic Dental Association, Hispanic children are twice as likely to have untreated tooth decay or cavities as non-Hispanic white children. Having a healthy mouth is necessary for overall health, even for babies and young children. In fact, the latest research and recommendations urge dentists to see children by their first birthday for early prevention of tooth decay. If left untreated, cavities can cause serious health problems. The good news is that they are nearly 100 percent preventable.
“The Maryland Dental Action Coalition is happy to extend the Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids campaign to address this oral health disparity in Maryland,” said Carol Caiazzo, MDAC Board Chair.
Dientes Sanos, Niños Sanos will air in two parts on El Zol 107.9 FM, Maryland’s most influential Hispanic radio station. The first part of the campaign will run for six weeks from Monday, February 4 through Sunday, March 17. The second part will run for three weeks from Monday, April 1 through Sunday, April 21. The radio ad will run 71 times per week and 639 times over the nine-week period. At the end of the campaign, it is estimated that 49.2 percent of Hispanic women in Maryland between the ages of 18 and 34 will have heard the radio ad at least 10 times during the nine-week campaign.
In addition to the radio ads, the campaign also includes a website, www.DientesSanosNinosSanos.org, and a toll-free hotline, 1-855-45-TEETH. Spanish language informational materials, such as brochures and posters, are available free of charge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dientes Sanos, Niños Sanos campaign is made possible through the support and collaboration of The Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health, MDAC’s Maryland Oral Health Learning Alliance and the Maryland Office of Oral Health.
About Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids
Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids targets parents and caregivers with young children and pregnant women through a comprehensive literacy campaign utilizing outreach through community organizations, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers, local health departments, WIC programs and Head Start using television, radio, online and public transit advertising.
The campaign website – www.HealthyTeethHealthyKids.org – provides extensive information and tips to drive awareness for critical stages of pediatric oral health care. Tips include: 1) if you are a mom-to-be, visit the dentist during your pregnancy to assure a healthy mouth for you and your baby; 2) take your child to the dentist by age one; and 3) brush your child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
The Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids campaign has a toll-free hotline, 1-855-45-TEETH, available in English and Spanish, to answer oral health questions or assist in finding a dentist. The program’s educational brochures are also available at community centers and health care facilities around the state. For more information on the campaign, visit www.HealthyTeethHealthyKids.org.
Maryland Dental Action Coalition
The Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC) is a community-based membership organization that is an incorporated 501(c) 3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve the oral health of all Marylanders through increased prevention, education, advocacy, and access to oral health care. It is the state’s leading non-governmental oral health policy and advocacy organization, and was formed from a secretary's committee following the death of a 12- year old Prince George’s County boy from untreated tooth decay.
MDAC has a well-established history of assessment and health communication activities. MDAC works with a wide variety of stakeholders to develop and implement initiatives to enhance oral health for all Marylanders and monitors progress on the five-year Maryland Oral Health Plan (MOHP). The MOHP is designed to improve education and literacy, increase access and assure advocacy and policy implementation to advance oral health.