Baby Teeth Matter

About the Campaign

Cavities Get Around is a bilingual campaign launched in 2014 to improve the oral health of Colorado children. It primarily reaches low-income families with children ages 0-6, who are disproportionately affected by poor oral health. It also reaches leaders in communities hit hardest by this “silent epidemic.” The campaign engages families and communities on the importance of baby teeth. Encouraging children to drink water instead of cavity-causing sugary drinks like juice can ensure good oral health for life.

The campaign is funded by Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, and is a signature component of a larger public-will building initiative.

Through behavior, systems and policy change, the goal is to create new norms and expectations that baby teeth matter, and communities have a responsibility to protect children’s oral health. This work is being done through community engagement and statewide awareness, including market-specific advertising and text messaging.

Our partners take a multi-faceted approach towards impacting their respective communities, engaging their audiences through promotores de salud, school wellness committees and local workshops. By connecting with communities, we’re able to affect sustainable change that improves oral health across generations and throughout the state.


About Us Juice Boxes

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you launch this campaign?

In our audience research, which included a statewide quantitative survey in 2014, we found that juice is a very common drink for young children. Eighty-seven percent of parents told us their child drinks juice several times a week. Fifty-five percent said juice is the most likely beverage their child drinks at any given time. Finally, seventy-two percent said they believe juice is healthy for their children. We have seen reductions in these numbers since that time as a result of the campaign. Given that juice is sugary and sugar causes cavities and water benefits oral health, especially in young children, we saw a need to spark change in homes and communities. This led to the creation of the Cavities Get Around campaign.

Why are baby teeth important?

Baby teeth are very vulnerable to decay since the enamel on baby teeth is thin. Plus, cavities can spread from baby teeth to adult teeth. Poor oral health sets up children for a lifetime of problems. Healthy baby teeth mean healthy adult teeth.

IS 100% FRUIT JUICE REALLY BAD?

Sugar comes in many forms and 100% fruit juice is different than juice with sugar added. Still, 100% fruit juice can contain a lot of natural sugars. Sugar fuels bacteria in mouths that create acid. Plus, 100% juice is acidic. The acid eats through the enamel of teeth, leading to a cavity. This is why juice should be limited to mealtimes.

WHY ONLY SERVE JUICE AT MEALTIMES?

Young children are especially vulnerable to cavities since the enamel on baby teeth is thin. It’s not how much sugar you put on the teeth; it’s how often the teeth are hit with sugar that causes cavities. When kids sip on sugary beverages throughout the day, cavity-causing bacteria have a constant source of fuel. Saliva produced during meals and water rinses away bacteria.

WHAT ARE THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION (ADA) RECOMMENDATIONS?

The ADA recognizes the dangers of anything other than formula, milk or water in bottles or sippy cups. Putting things like juice or soda in baby bottles or sippy cups can cause Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/baby-bottle-tooth-decay
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also recognize the link between juice and cavities in children.

DOES JUICE CAUSE CAVITIES?

Juice contains sugar. Sugar fuels bacteria in your mouth that creates acid that eats through the enamel of teeth; this is how cavities form. Children’s baby teeth are especially vulnerable to decay since the enamel on baby teeth is thin.

ARE YOU RECOMMENDING THAT PEOPLE NEVER DRINK JUICE?

No. While whole fruit is best for children, many people still consider juice healthy. Juice should be limited to mealtimes only. It’s best for children to drink only water between meals and especially before bedtime. Giving children water between meals and at bedtime will limit the amount of time that cavity-causing sugar spends on their teeth. Research shows a clear link between drinking sugary beverages and poor oral health as well as higher rates of diabetes and obesity, and diet related health problems. In schools children should have access throughout the day to drinking water. We all have a responsibility here. Source: Healthy Eating Research; Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity (March 2013); American Academy of Pediatrics.

Baby teeth are just going to fall out anyway, so does it really matter if they get cavities?

Yes, it matters! Baby teeth may fall out but the harmful bacteria in a child’s mouth does not go away. If the baby teeth are diseased, that same bacteria can then spread to the adult teeth. If this happens, it then sets up the child for a lifetime of oral health issues. Healthy baby teeth means healthy adult teeth.

Does it make a difference whether it’s tap or bottled water?

Most bottled waters do not contain fluoride. Fluoride in tap water makes our teeth healthier and stronger.

In the U.S., all tap water intended for drinking is rigorously regulated by the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act. The water must meet safety standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The established water-quality requirements are similar to those established by the EPA for public water supplies.

Learn More

For more information about the campaign, please contact Wyatt Hornsby, Campaign Director, at whornsby@ddpco.com.

For information about media opportunities, please contact Megan Tobias, public relations on behalf of Cavities Get Around, at Megan@ameliecompany.com.