Trident® and Chris O'Donnell Join Smiles Across America® to Promote Healthy Mouths

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 Environmental Health
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PARSIPPANY, N.J., Aug. 10 Each year, more than 51 million school hours are lost as a result of problems related to tooth decay, the most common chronic childhood disease in America(1). Yet according to a recent survey by Trident®, more than eight in 10 (84%) American parents don't realize this(2). That is why Trident®, in partnership with Oral Health America's Smiles Across America® program (SAA), and actor Chris O'Donnell announced today in Los Angeles that they are teaming up to help fight cavities among the nation's youth and address the need for oral disease prevention services.

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Tooth decay affects approximately half of all second graders and nearly 80 percent of 17-year-olds(3). Despite this, nearly three-quarters (74%) of U.S. parents don't necessarily consider tooth decay to be a chronic childhood disease(4). However, many parents do recognize that, if left untreated, tooth decay can negatively impact a child's well-being, self-esteem, or even concentration level.

The cause resonated with Chris O'Donnell, someone accustomed to striking a smile on many red carpets.

"As a parent of five children, I know first-hand the importance of healthy dental habits for my family," said O'Donnell. "The Smiles Across America program helps to not only promote healthy habits, but also provides critical dental care services through schools reaching those kids that might not otherwise have access. I'm thrilled to be joining this effort to help celebrate and protect smiles."

The Importance of Education

It's no surprise that education can play a large role in preventing cavities. Nine in 10 (92%) parents believe cavities in children are preventable, yet a majority of parents (86%) struggle to get a child to take care of their teeth(5).

While convincing a child to take proper care of his or her teeth is no easy task, here are a few important reminders for parents:

Raising the Goal

Smiles Across America supports dental services for over 250,000 children annually in underserved communities nationwide. Smiles Across America pledged to deliver one million sealants, a critical preventative oral health care procedure for children, by the end of 2010. The program has already reached that goal and has now raised it to two million sealants by 2020.

"Through this program, we're committed to raising public awareness about the importance of healthy mouths for healthy lives," said Beth Truett, President and CEO of Oral Health America. "Our three-year partnership with Trident has enabled us to expand our area of service in 2010, helping us to be well on our way to meeting our increased goal."

Smiles Across America provides its network with the funding and technical assistance in the areas of communication and coalition building, enabling them to more than double the number of children who receive oral care and address barriers to care such as lack of resources and transportation, low literacy and language diversity.

"We believe that every family should have access to preventative dental care for healthy smiles," says Becky McAninch, Senior Brand Manager, Trident Marketing. "Smiles Across America provides such an important service to communities around the country. We're proud to help aid their efforts."

How To Get Involved

Purchase any pack of Trident gum from September 13, 2010 through September 19, 2010 and five cents per pack will be donated to Smiles Across America(7). In addition, parents can follow campaign efforts on Facebook at

About Trident® Sugar-Free Gum

Trident gum has long been a pioneer in providing oral health benefits to consumers. Trident was the first gum brand of its kind to undergo extensive long-term clinical testing in 1967 with studies showing that people who chewed Trident experienced significantly fewer cavities. Most recently, the brand introduced Trident Xtra Care(TM) with Recaldent®, a great tasting sugar free gum that delivers superior strengthening power versus regular sugar-free chewing gum. Today, Trident is the best selling chewing gum and sugar free gum in the world(8) and a recent study shows that the brand continues to be recommended by four out of five dentists who would recommend sugar-free gum to their patients who chew gum(9).

About Smiles Across America® (SAA)

SAA is a signature program created by Oral Health America, a national non-profit organization dedicated to changing lives by connecting communities with resources to increase access to care, education and advocacy. SAA improves the health of elementary school students by supporting oral disease prevention services in school-based or school-linked settings, and demonstrating to communities that healthy mouths are integral to overall health. For more information, visit

About Kraft Foods Inc.

With annual revenues of approximately $48 billion, Kraft Foods is a global powerhouse in snacks, confectionery and quick meals. The company is the world's second largest food company, making delicious products for billions of consumers in more than 160 countries. The portfolio includes 11 iconic brands with revenues exceeding $1 billion - Oreo, Nabisco and LU biscuits; Milka and Cadbury chocolates; Trident gum; Jacobs and Maxwell House coffees; Philadelphia cream cheeses; Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings; and Oscar Mayer meats. Approximately 70 brands generate annual revenues of more than $100 million. Kraft Foods (; NYSE: KFT) is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index.

Survey Methodology

The Trident Survey was conducted by Kelton Research among 1,003 nationally representative American parents ages 18 and over with at least one child under age 18 in the household. The survey was fielded between June 17 and June 22, 2010 using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.

In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

(1) Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, May 2000

(2) Trident: Oral Health perception survey, June 2010

(3) National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III

(4) Trident: Oral Health perception survey

(5) Trident: Oral Health perception survey, June 2010

(6) Deshpande A, Jadad A. The impact of polyol-containing chewing gums on dental caries: A systematic review of original randomized controlled trials and observational studies. JADA 2008; 139:1602-1614.

(7) Donation capped at $600,000. Includes single packs, multipacks, and club packs.

(8) 2007 Euromonitor

(9) Data on file

-- The foods children consume also can have an impact on oral health. For example, foods such as cheeses, fruits and vegetables can help build strong teeth and gums. On the flip side, overindulging in foods that are sticky or sugary can have a negative impact on teeth and gums. That's why it's important to have children floss once a day to remove food and plaque that can get stuck between and on teeth. -- Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugar free gum after meals helps fight cavities.(6) The Trident survey uncovered that less than half (41%) of parents surveyed who believe cavities are preventable know the role that sugarless gum-chewing plays as a cavity-fighting tactic. And of those parents surveyed who allow their children to chew gum, only one-third (34%) say their child's gum chewing is likely to happen after a meal, when it has the most impact on fighting cavities. -- It's also important that children receive dental check-ups twice a year to ensure that they are taking proper care of their teeth and gums, and have x-rays taken to check for cavities that may not be easily identified. -- Parents can help children take proper care of their teeth by teaching them the correct way to brush. Brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush on the front, back, inner and outer surfaces, as well as their tongue - with short, gentle back and forth motions - can help children maintain good oral health. It's important for children to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time using no more than a pea-size amount or fluoride toothpaste.

SOURCE Trident Gum

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