Mille Lacs County children will be better able to brush up their dental care skills, thanks to a $30,000 grant from Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation.
Mille Lacs County's "Cavity Free by Three" program, a pilot project supported by the Initiative Foundation in partnership with Children's Dental Services, brings pediatric mobile dental services to under-served populations, often at schools and health fairs. The program--serving the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and schools in Isle, Milaca, Princeton and Onamia--also increases education and awareness of early preventative dental health and provides healthy snacks and free toothbrushes to income-eligible families.
The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist before their first birthday.The reality, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, is that children under 6 years of age are two times less likely to have a preventive dental visit than children ages 6 to 17 years.
"It's tempting to think that when it comes to young children, it's just their baby teeth and they will get a new start when those teeth fall out," said Linda Holliday, an early childhood dental consultant with the Initiative Foundation. "But that's just not true. If a young child's teeth hurt, it's hard to get the nutrition they need to grow and learn."
Delta Dental grant recipients were selected based on a number of criteria, including the program's innovative way of improving access for underserved populations in Minnesota, the opportunity to promote and expand preventive and education services and the ability to measure results.
About the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation
Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation is designed to support Delta Dental of Minnesota's mission of improving the oral health of the people in Minnesota and advancing the science and art of oral health in Minnesota. The Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation supports initiatives that promote access to oral health and, in turn, improve the overall health and vitality of our community.