Donation to improve oral health in Jefferson County
The Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation has donated 106,000 toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss to the I-Smile Program, which helps connect Iowa children in need with dental care and services.
Lee County Health Department will receive a portion of the donation for children in Jefferson County.
According to the Surgeon General’s Oral Health in America Report, tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease.
“This donation is a small step to ensure that every child in Iowa has their very own toothbrush, toothpaste and floss,” said Donn Hutchins, president of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. “Starting and maintaining good oral health habits at a young age is very important and aligns with the foundation’s long-term goal that every Iowa child age 0-12 will be cavity-free by 2020.”
“We are thankful to the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation for this generous donation,” said Bob Russell, state dental director for the Iowa Department of Public Health. “The I-Smile program strives to connect Iowa children to the dental services they need to grow up happy and healthy.”
I-Smile was created by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Human Services, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics and the Iowa Dental Association. The “dental home” team includes dentists who provide treatment and definitive evaluation, as well as other health professionals such as dental hygienists, physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physician assistants and dietitians who provide oral screenings, education, anticipatory guidance and preventive services as needed.
In 2012, the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation committed to a new, ambitious strategic direction that focuses on improving the oral health of Iowa’s children and seniors. As part of its strategic focus, the foundation will direct funding primarily to programs and investments that help support two new visionary oral health 2020 goals, which include:
1. Every Iowa child age 0-12, living in a household with an income below 300 percent of the federal poverty level, will be cavity-free.
2. Every Iowa nursing home resident and homebound elderly person will have access to oral health care.
Delta Dental of Iowa is the largest and most experienced provider of dental benefits in the state. As a not-for-profit, Delta Dental of Iowa invests in oral health projects through the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation that focus on access to care, prevention, education and research.
The Iowa company is a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association, a national organization of not-for-profit Delta Dental plans. The national association is the largest dental benefits carrier in the nation providing coverage to 59 million people in more than 97,500 employer groups.