Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation

Posted on March 7, 2013 in In the Community

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation is committed to improving children's oral health in the state. Here are a few ways the Foundation helps.

Land of Smiles

Throughout the month, thousands of pre-k through third-grade students in Illinois elementary schools will enjoy “Land of Smiles,” an educational oral health program that teaches proper brushing and flossing techniques, good and bad foods for the teeth and why it is important to visit the dentist regularly. The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation provides the program free of charge to more than 130 schools each year.  As part of the program, each school receives an oral health curriculum guide and each student receives an oral health kit with a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste and educational flyer. More than 30,000 oral health kits will be distributed to schoolchildren during the Land of Smiles program run in 2013. See where Land of Smiles is traveling to this year.

Dentist by 1

As part of its “Dentist By 1” educational campaign, the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation has donated nearly 4,500 oral health kits with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and educational flyer to organizations that support early childhood development for underprivileged children across Illinois.

While it's recommended that a child visit the dentist within six months of getting the first tooth – and no later than the first birthday. Illinois children don't see a dentist on average until age 3½. The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation launched the “Dentist By 1” campaign to educate parents about the benefits of taking their children to the dentist by age 1 and to encourage them to schedule a visit.

As part of the “Dentist By 1” campaign, Illinois parents and caregivers can pledge to take their child to the dentist by age 1 or to regular dental visits for children older than 1 at Parents who take the pledge will also receive an oral health care kit.
Cavities are nearly 100% preventable. More than one in four Illinois caregivers reported that their children had a cavity filled in the past year, according to a new survey1 released February 1 by Delta Dental of Illinois in conjunction with National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Visit the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation website to learn more about children's oral health and how you can support Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation programs in your community.

Written by: Lora Vitek, Director Philanthropy and Community Relations, Delta Dental of Illinois