We are pleased you are here and invite you to explore our site to learn more about the Foundation and its mission to improve the oral health of Illinois children. 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. The 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, with a specific focus on children.
Why children's oral health?
It's part of our mission. Childhood is the time when good oral health habits and lessons should begin. We believe oral health education and awareness are key to helping establish a lifetime of oral health. Of course, access to care is vital as well. Tooth decay is largely preventable, but it is the leading chronic infectious disease among children in the United States. Tooth decay not only can cause pain, but also can interfere with a child’s ability to eat, speak, smile and concentrate. Tooth decay has the potential to affect a child’s overall health. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22.7 percent of two to five year olds have had cavities, and 55.7 percent of six to eight year olds have had cavities. Around 52 percent of third grade children in the state had caries experience, suggesting that tooth decay is still a significant public health problem affecting Illinois children.
According to the 2017 Delta Dental of Illinois Children’s Oral Health Survey: 35 percent of children had at least one cavity in the past 12 months. Only 53 percent of Illinois children's teeth are brushed twice a day. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of parents report that their children’s teeth are flossed less often than once a day. Only 62 percent of Illinois children who have visited the dentist have been twice in the past 12 months.
Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation's goal is to educate children and their caregivers as well as the dental community about the benefits of preventive care, starting at an early age and continuing into adulthood.