JOHNSTON — Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation made the healthy habit of brushing teeth for two minutes twice a day easier for thousands of Iowans in 2020.
The Foundation provided toothbrushes for 326,000 people.
“In 2020, our toothbrush donations were more important than ever,” said Jeff Russell, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa. “Many in-school education programs were limited due to COVID lockdowns last spring. A new toothbrush from Delta Dental is a perfect reminder to instill healthy dental habits at home. It’s also essential to see your dentist twice a year which is safe to do because of all of the mitigation efforts dentists have implemented.”
Since 2013, the Foundation has provided more than 2.6 million toothbrushes in all 99 counties in Iowa.
Through a variety of events and outreach programs like Rethink Your Drink and I-Smile Silver, the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation educates on oral health and encourages developing positive dental habits to help Iowans maintain a healthy smile. Since many of the schools, preschools, daycare centers and long term care facilities were closed or limited access of visitors due to COVID, the number of toothbrushes distributed decreased in 2020 by about 30%.
“We’re hopeful to increase the dental hygiene education and toothbrush distribution in schools in 2021,” said Suzanne Heckenlaible, executive director, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. “When we can put a new toothbrush in the hands of a child or any Iowan and provide dental health education, we know we are taking the right steps toward improving their oral and overall health.”
Iowa nonprofit organizations may request toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss needed to support oral health education programs. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout 2021 and must include an oral health education component. More information and link to the application can be found on the Delta Dental of Iowa website at https://www.deltadentalia.com/foundation/grants.
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