The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation furthers its mission to improve the overall health and well-being of Illinois residents, particularly children, through education and access to quality healthcare. The Foundation brings oral health education and assistance to Illinois children and families in a variety of ways, including our Land of Smiles oral health education program featuring Captain Super Grin and Caz Cavity, that travels to elementary schools across the states providing dental care tips and Dentist by 1, which focuses on the importance of early dental visits and how to provide dental care for young children.

Each of our programs reaches students, families, children, dental and health professionals and communities in Illinois. The Foundation’s programs focus on our three core themes - oral health education and awareness, access to oral health care and education for oral health professionals.

Oral Health Education and Awareness

All characters from Land of Smiles educational program.

The Foundation works to increase oral health education and awareness in Illinois through its own programs and its partnerships with other oral health organizations. The Foundation’s programs and partnerships emphasize the importance of good oral health and preventive care and how oral health is connected to overall health. Cavities are the most prevalent childhood disease, but through education and awareness, the Foundation is able to teach children and their caregivers good oral health habits, helping to create a healthier community. 

Access to Oral Health

young toddler girl being helped at Dentist By 1 event

We partner with and provide support to Illinois organizations and programs that help expand access to oral health care. Through these organizations, the Foundation is able to provide preventive treatment and restorative care to underserved children who may be suffering from tooth decay. These organizations are crucial to addressing the prevalence of dental disease among Illinois children, and through their efforts, we are able to improve the health of children as well as their overall health. 

Education for Oral Health Professionals

young girl in dental chair talking with dentist

As a way to meet oral health care needs in the state, the Foundation provides educational opportunities for dental and medical professionals. We offer continuing education courses through our “Dentist By 1” program, which teaches the importance of early dental visits and how to provide dental care for young children. The Foundation also supports organizations that have a focus on expanding oral health education, including programs that instruct dentists how to best treat patients with special needs.