Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation Provides Free Dental Care to Children in Carbondale

Carbondale, IL. (July 21, 2023) – Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation provided free dental care to more than 60 children on Friday, July 14, at Southern Illinois University.

This free care event marked the first dental visit for 84% of the participants. Additionally, 32% of children who received dental care had untreated cavities.

The initiative was part of the Foundation’s Dentist By 1 program which aims to educate parents and caregivers about good oral health habits and emphasizes the importance of early dental visits.

“We are proud to collaborate with seven dental teams to provide free dental care to young children through our Dentist By 1 program. Most children in Illinois don’t visit the dentist until they are 4 years old or older1, which can lead to significant oral health issues. Tooth decay, for instance, can develop any time after the first tooth comes in, starting at around 6 months of age,” explained Lora Vitek, executive director of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should visit the dentist within six months of getting their first tooth – and no later than a child’s first birthday. Scheduling a dental visit by age 1 also allows a child and parent to establish a relationship with their dentist and lays the foundation for regular visits and good oral health habits for years to come.

During the event, a comprehensive range of free preventive and diagnostic services were offered, including cleanings, exams, fluoride treatments, sealants, and X-rays. These preventive care services play a vital role in maintaining good oral health from an early age. Each child also received an oral health kit containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and a dental care instructional sheet.

For more information about the Dentist By 1 program visit Dental Care for Children.

About the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation 

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation was formed in March 2008 by Delta Dental of Illinois, a not-for-profit dental service corporation with a mission to improve the oral health of the communities it serves. Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation is the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois and works to support and improve the oral health of people in Illinois. In the past decade, combined efforts of Delta Dental of Illinois and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation have provided more than $20 million to programs and organizations in Illinois that improve the oral health of the residents of Illinois. 

[1] 2022 Delta Dental Plans Association Children’s Oral Health Survey