Children’s Oral Health

watch your mouth

Watch Your Mouth™ is a multi-media public awareness campaign created by FrameWorks to help increase the public’s understanding of the issue of children’s oral health and the community-based solutions needed to address the nation’s most common, chronic disease of childhood: dental decay.

The campaign began in Washington State shortly after the 2000 release of the U.S. Surgeon General’s first ever report on the nation’s oral health, and has since run in three states: MA, NH, and ME. The campaign has a proven track record of increasing public awareness and understanding of the importance of children’s oral health, and increasing understanding of the community interventions needed to keep children healthy.

FrameWorks’ research has revealed that oral health is an issue that is largely hidden from the public agenda. When it is brought to the public’s attention, it is often through the lens of personal hygiene and self-esteem. What is largely missing from the public discourse on oral health is a conversation about the interaction between oral health and overall health, the impact that poor oral health can have on children’s ability to progress in school, and the long-term health complications that can occur as a result of untreated decay.

To respond to the research findings and produce communications strategies that would improve public understanding of children’s oral health as an issue, FrameWorks institute developed the Watch Your Mouth campaign. WYM provides a detailed communications strategy as well as a paid and earned media campaign for advocates who are working to advance children’s oral health policies. In addition to messaging and framing recommendations, WYM provides advocates with print, radio and television advertisements that have been tested and shown to be effective.

Coalitions that launch a Watch Your Mouth campaign also receive hands-on technical assistance from the FrameWorks team. This technical assistance is tailored to meet the needs of the host organization, but often includes: regular feedback on campaign documents, trainings that are designed to teach effective methods for communicating about children’s oral health, and a toolkit of framing suggestions for advocates.

Want to know more about Watch Your Mouth?

Click here to download an informational brochure about the campaign.

Visit our Watch Your Mouth e-Workshop - This highly visual e-Workshop will take you through the research findings on Children's Oral Heath and test your framing IQ in a series of interactive exercises.

Talking About Children's Oral Health Toolkit is a web-based toolkit for experts and advocates for children's oral health. This includes a variety of application materials- from Frequently Asked Questions to sample opinion editorials and case studies- that may be used as templates to build your own communications.

 

Funders of Watch Your Mouth include:

The DentaQuest Foundation, the Endowment for Health (NH), Ronald McDonald House Charities, Northeast Delta Dental, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, Maine Health Access Foundation, the Betterment Fund (ME), Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine, Washington Dental Services, the Benton Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

FrameWorks Institute

  Updated: 02/01/15