The Delta Dental Plans Association has an idea for a way for employers and their benefits advisors to improve the health of the nation for decades to come: Persuade parents and guardians to get their kids to brush and floss.
The association -- group that represents 39 large, nonprofit dental plans -- recently commissioned a survey of caregivers to generate some buzz for this month's National Children's Dental Health Month marketing campaign.
The polling firm reached 929 primary caregivers of children ages 0 to 11 years.
The survey team found signs of caregivers slacking off on helping children take care of their teeth.
Only 58 percent of the children brushed their teeth twice a day, or had an adult help with brushing twice a day.
Only 23 percent of the children had their teeth flossed daily, and 43 percent of the survey participants admitted that their children's teeth had never been flossed.
Perhaps because of the lack of attention to preventive care, one-quarter of the participants said their children had had cavities filled in the past year.
One-eighth said their children had had two or more cavities filled in the past year.