Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson

June 12, 2012 09:00 ET

Dental Dilemma: Cavities Take Hold in Mouths of Canadian Kids

Nearly two-thirds of Canadian kids have cavities, many with two or more

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 12, 2012) -

Editors Note: Three photos are associated with this press release.

An overwhelming 86 per cent of Canadian parents are concerned about protecting their kids from cavities, and with good reason. In a recent survey, commissioned by the makers of LISTERINE® products, it was revealed that nearly two-thirds of Canadian children under the age of 12 have had a cavity; and of those children more than 60 per cent of kids have had two or more.

"Parents know how important oral care is for their children and busy family schedules mean that for oral care routines to stick, they need to be fast and efficient," said Lisa Shoemaker, registered restorative dental hygienist and mother of two. "If kids start taking care of their teeth and building good oral hygiene habits at a young age, that routine will stay with them as they get older, making dentist visits less scary. So much of what I see can be prevented by establishing a good oral care routine early in life that includes rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash for 60 seconds after they've brushed and flossed."

Who cares about cavities?

More than half of the parents surveyed said their kids don't care about the health of their teeth. And, even though 95 per cent of parents indicated they have an established oral care routine in their homes, it can be challenging to get kids to follow through on that routine unsupervised, leaving them more vulnerable to cavities. By adding an easy, fun and effective solution, like a 60-second swish and spit with a fluoride mouthwash, to the daily routine, parents can encourage the 51 per cent of kids who are unconcerned about getting cavities to start caring about their teeth.

"The key to creating a good oral care routine that kids will stick with is to make it fun. Mouthwash is great for that, because what kid doesn't love the chance to spit?" said Shoemaker. "See how many funny faces kids can make while they're swishing or play music while they're rinsing. Kids like to see that what they're doing is really working. LISTERINE® SMART RINSE® is my recommended option because it gives them that proof in a colourful way when they swish and spit because it tints the particles so kids can see what's left behind after brushing."

Studies have shown that using LISTERINE® SMART RINSE® after brushing provides twice the cavity protection over brushing alone. An effective oral care routine for six and over includes brushing for two minutes, rinsing with LISTERINE® SMART RINSE® fluoride rinse for a full minute and flossing.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Another effective way to teach kids how to take care of their teeth is to lead by example. The survey results suggest that there may be a link between kids that see their parents brushing and rinsing and the number that will do the same. Nearly 90 per cent of parents said that their kids see them brushing and, not surprisingly, more than half said it's effortless to get their kids to brush. Only 46 per cent of parents said their children see them rinsing which could be the reason only 26 per cent of parents surveyed said it's easy to get their kids to rinse with mouthwash.

"When kids are used to seeing their parent rinsing with mouthwash, they're more comfortable with adding it to their own routines," said Shoemaker. "Get older siblings involved in the routine as well. Another voice encouraging kids to take care of their teeth can make a big impact."

About the survey

From March 25 to March 31, 2012, an online survey was conducted among 1,119 randomly selected Canadian parents who are also Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Listerine

The story of LISTERINE® Brand Mouthwash, Canada's most popular over-the-counter mouthwash dates back over 130 years to the early days of modern medicine. LISTERINE® Antiseptic was developed in 1879 by Dr. Joseph Lawrence and Jordan Wheat Lambert. It wasn't until 1994 that plastic bottles were introduced, replacing the traditional glass bottles that dentists and customers had come to know for over 100 years. LISTERINE® Antiseptic Mouthwash has been used by more than 1 billion people worldwide to help improve oral health, and over 50 clinical studies have been conducted affirming its efficacy.

To view a photo of Lisa Shoemaker at the LISTERINE® SMART RINSE® sink-side briefing in Toronto, please visit the following link:

To view the other photos associated with this press release, please visit the following links:

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